Guilty Gear Strive – How to play as May

Don’t spam Mr. Dolphin.

Image via Arc System Works

May from Guilty Gear Strive can unleash a dolphin frenzy towards her wary opponents, but there is more to her than just spamming. She can be excellent with her ranged abilities and can pressure her foes easily in the corner. How’s everything you need to know about May.

General strategy

Screenshot by Gamepur

May works as an excellent rushdown and poker character in Guilty Gear Strive. Her anchor has a wide reach and can dish out a heavy amount of damage in no time flat. Poking with down + slash (S) is a sneaky attack that an unexpecting opponent who stands all the time will have a tough time. In addition, down + heavy slash (HS) can sweep foes off their feet with a wide swing of the anchor. You can link the anchor attacks together by pressing slash, slash, and then heavy slash.

Her overhead attack with a forward + charged HS button press has a brilliant reach vertically, and it’s effective against characters who are both in the air and crouching. If you jump and then press down and HS, you can do an anchor drop that, if hit, can leave foes open to a S, S, HS combo. Experiment with the different capabilities of the character, and combos will likely start emerging in your mind.

Screenshot by Gamepur

Something else that can be useful, especially against projectile-based characters, is her slide. You can input that by holding a diagonal motion and the cross button. You can link it with her long kick (back + the kick button (K)) for a snappy two-hit combo.

Ability breakdown

Screenshot by Gamepur
  • Mr. Dolphin (Hold back and then forward + S or HS or hold down and then up + S or HS)
    • This ability summons a dolphin underneath May that she can ride on. It can be used both horizontally and vertically. Players often spam the move, but it is best used sporadically. The horizontal version acts as a neat poke towards opponents and can be used quickly after a cheeky combo. Get two hits in with the anchor and then quickly input Mr. Dolphin for a cool short volley of hits. It can work as a great sneak attack that your opponent won’t see coming (especially if you don’t spam it).
    • The vertical version acts as a sweet anti-air, but beware that the knockback effect isn’t as effective as you’d probably like.
    • Depending on the button you choose, the S button offers a quicker but weaker version, while HS is a slower, more damaging hit with a wider range. They both have their own uses as S is used in a combo and HS is used as a knockback, poking move.
  • Arisugawa Sparkle (down back + punch (P) or kick (K))
    • This time, a seal comes to your aid and slams a beachball towards your foe. The K button offers more range, while the punch button has a more narrow, close-up diagonal focus.
    • This acts as a good way to keep opponents at bay from far away, but if they’re getting close, the Arisugawa Sparkle leaves you way open for a counter-attack. Use this move wisely.


Screenshot by Gamepur
  • Great Yamada Attack (down right, down right + S)
    • We’ve had a dolphin and a seal, so how about a huge pink whale? It will leap towards your opponent for massive damage, but it is very hard to hit. The first thing to note is that the start-up of the attack is faster if you’re in the corner. If you use the devastating move in the middle, it will be easier to block as the whale has a lot more ground to cover. With the Great Yamada Attack, you want to input the move when the opponent is using an exaggerated heavy attack that whiffs.
    • If you don’t have a burst, this move also works as a way to make the opponent back off. This tactic should only be used in high-pressure situations as this is a pretty expensive move from your special meter.
  • The Wonderful and Dynamic Goshogawara (back half-circle, forward + HS)
    • Has your opponent left themselves open in the air or whiffed an attack on the ground? This shark attack is lethal as it has a fast start-up and offers invincibility as you leap into the air with it. Like the Great Yamada Attack, this is especially useful when you’re in a tight spot in the corner as your enemy won’t expect it. It’s somewhat of a super-powered vertical Mr. Dolphin.