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Dragunov Research

Since I don't have the ability to the play the game, this is an open "brain storm" type article for those with access, or may have access in the future, to test on the arcade release of TTT2.

Ki Charging tech:
It's possible to perform a super charge/ki charge (1+2+3+4) and tag out your point character.  Unlike Versus series games (i.e. MvC3) where your point character can receive an effect/property modifier (i.e. Hsien-Ko "gold armor) and immediately tag out to retain the effects for as long as the character is tagged out, the ki charge timer still persists while tagged out in TTT2.  While this means that you can't ki charge, tag out, then come in at the end of the round with ki charge still enabled.  This does mean you have about a seven second window where your point character can be re-tagged in ki charged.

What does it mean for Dragunov?  Well he already has two strong NH attach throw, tag attacks (e.g. 5~f,f,f+3 and 5~f,f,f+4) and gaining a third safe option that (while ki charged) launches on NH, greatly strengthens his tag in game.  Unlike i/WR+3 and 4 which are launch punishable and very poor frames (respectively) on block, i/WR+2 is +frames on block setting up further pressure.  The other major benefit, which I mentioned in the much older article "Suicidal Sergei", is that all attacks when powered up by ki charge deal chip damage to the opponent on block.  So not only can you theoretically have a safe attempt at a launching tag iWR+2, but also the "safe" chip follow up of 1,3,1,2,1,1 which also is NCc for 1,3,1 if the opponent attacks.

Now obviously the question is, "when is this possible to perform?"  I'm not 100% sure, but it might be possible to perform during certain TA options, more specifically during TA options that leave the opponent in a longer KND stun and class 1 launchers or launchers that perform a ground bounce.  This is definitely something to investigate and develop.

Expanded tag gimmicks:
Even though Dragunov has limited (known) tag throw options, it can set up a similar option to ki charge tagging that I mentioned earlier.  With generic tag throws (both 1+3~5 and 2+5), they don't provide anything extremely strong like Wangs d/f,d/f+2+4~5 Waning Moon, it does allow Dragunov to safely tag out post throw.  Due to how the opponent is left, this may also set up strong (although not guaranteed) oki options on wakeup.  This might also leave the opponent unprepared for tag in running 50/50s.  Dependent on wall positioning it would also set up i/WR+4 as a valid option for catching flinch as it will wallsplat on recovery hit/trade and attack throw on clean hit.

Safe tag options:
In a recent video, it's shown that certain characters have "safe tagging" options by using tagging in with attacks that have parry/armored stances, crush properties, or attacks that simply can be canceled by guarding instantly.  While Dragunov at first doesn't have any notable properties, e.g. b+3+4 is his only punch parry attack and cannot be canceled, he might have some crush attacks worth exploring.

The main problem with many of Dragunov's options is that most of them have considerable lag on startup, namely the execution time and impact frames are often slower than i17.  For instance iWR+3 out of tag can crush, but due to it's properties does not high crush on the first few frames.  This causes panic jabs to air bobble Dragunov at range 0, which then in turn will often result in a TA, causing Dragunov to lose his rage if present.  This is semi-true for iWR+2 also as it's very susceptible to jabs on startup as it has fairly significant lag on startup as well as hit.

So the challenge is to find options that may increase Dragunov's likely hood of not getting destroyed while raw tagging.

Crush options:
d+2 - High crush, but vulnerable to hop kick punishment and probably generic d/f+2.
d/b+3 - High crush, same problems as d+2 but with much greater reward.  Slower startup but should be very hard to see.
u/b+3 - Low crush, vulnerable to panic jabs.  By doing u/b+3 instead of u/f_u+3, might have some more evasive properties.
u/b+4 - Low crush, very similar to u/b+3.  Only real problem I can see is that on hit nothing might be guaranteed.

Evasive options:
qcb+2 - If it can work in the open field, it might work during raw tags, right?  Only problem is that it's now -15 on block.
u/b+2 - While Dragunov's auto-SS isn't very large, it may be enough to evade some options, but I'm not very hopeful.

Possible Shenanigans:
f+1+4_2+3 - Instant throw out of tag might actually stuff a good amount of options, but it needs to be tested.
Reversal - A well timed reversal in theory should prevent panic jabs and possibly hop kicks, but it needs to be tested.
f,f+4 - Although it's a tad slow, it does have some weird properties which might make it a safer option to raw tagging.

Trade/airborne option selecting:
This is also in response to some semi-recent footage of certain characters being able to option select of specific tag launchers to make them "safer" against opponents who maybe unaware of certain option selects existing.  While I'm fairly confident Dragunov doesn't have any tag launcher option selects, he should be able to use tag option selects in high pressure situations where execution may falter.

A really strong example is during iWR+2 buffering, by including a tag buffer onto the iWR+2, you can take care of many situations where Dragunov is normally deficient in T6/BR.  Going back to earlier in the article, I discussed how i/WR+2 has significant lag on startup as well as hit.  For instance, if an opponent is hit mid-air by iWR+2, the lag on hit causes the follow up options to be sub-par.  So not only are you penalized by taking a 60% airborne hit but you're also forced to take a mini-bobble combo.  Now in TTT2 you can TA off iWR+2, which completely mitigates the lag time on hit as your assist character is brought in instantly.  Theoretically instead of getting a small combo, you can get a TA combo follow immediately by small bobble combo present in BR.  Obviously there's the downside of activating your opponent's netsu, but the damage potential is easily twice that of prior games.

Notabl options selects:
iWR+2 - Will catch airborne opponents for greater damage potential, poor execution iWR+2 (f,f+2) is naturally option selected.
d+1 - Similar to iWR+2, the damage potential of an airborne d+1 is far too little to not option select with a TA.