Them's Fightin' Herds

Them's Fightin' Herds is a 2D Fighter created out of pure love by a passionate group of developers. Fights take place in the mid range and close range because the cast consists of tiny quadrupedal hoofed mammals instead of bipedal humans. Every character is distinct in both playstyle and design. Them's Fightin' Herds has perhaps the best training mode in the genre. Single player mode is very fun and dynamic music is a feature that needs to be in more games. It has one of the most dedicated and welcoming communities in the whole fighting game community.

Helpful Resources

The Them's Fightin' Herds wiki.
The Them's Fightin' Herds Discord server.
Mane6 forums.

Notation

Attack Notation

A Light Attack
B Medium Attack
C Strong Attack
D Magic Button

Directional Notation

up-back up up-forward
back neutral forward
down-back down down-forward

Numpad Notation

7 8 9
4 5 6
1 2 3

High attacks are overhead attacks that must be stand blocked. Mid attacks are attacks that can be blocked with both stand block and crouch block.

Them's Fightin' Herds uses Modern frame data notation. If an attack has 7 frames of startup, it hits on the 7th frame.

It takes characters different amounts of meter to build a full level of Super Meter. Super attack is performed with 236 and two attack buttons and cost a level of Super Meter. It can be extended by spending another level of Super Meter with 214 and two attack buttons. Level 2 super attack is used more for utility than for pure damage. Every character now has a beautiful cinematic Level 3 super attack, performed with 63214 and two attack buttons for most characters.

Normal attacks can't cancel into anything on whiff but special attacks can cancel into super attacks on whiff.

The Magic system gives each character a unique resource and mechanic. The D button is the dedicated Magic button. Magic attacks are essentially a fourth attack type after normal attacks, special attacks, and super attacks. Some characters start the round with Magic stocked and others have to build it. Magic attacks are like special attacks that are very good but cost a resource that has to be built a specific way.

The chain system allows players to chain normal attacks into each other. You get a standing and crouching normal attack of each strength per chain. Every character can do a six hit chain that is 5A > 2A > 5B > 2B > 5C > 2C. Command normal attacks follow their own rules. 5A and 2A can chain into each other even on whiff, which is useful for catching quick recovery rolls.

The chain combo system exists in the air as well.

Chains can be delayed to turn them from true blockstrings into frame traps. Here's a way to practice this in training mode. Go into control settings and macro B+C to a single button. Press this macro during a chain and the string will continue. If you delay B+C too much, a throw comes out instead. Use this to find the maximum delay window for your chains.

3C is the universal launcher. It is unsafe on block. After launch, hold 8/9 to jump after the opponent to juggle.

6A is the universal anti air. It is -10 on hit meaning it should only be used as an anti-air or in combos. On hit, it's jump cancelable. 6A can low profile under attacks. I know it results in some strange looking hitbox/hurtbox interactions but that can't be helped. Because the characters are quadrupedal animals instead of bipedal humans, there can't really be uppercut style anti-airs.

The combo extenders are ground bounce, wall stick/bounce, and stagger. You get one of each extender in a combo. Tumble state counts as a ground bounce. Stagger re-stands if both characters are on the ground but if they're in the air it causes a ground bounce.

After a knockdown, hold 4, 5, or 6 and press/hold an attack button to quick recover. If you hold a button you recover as soon as possible or you can slightly delay the recovery by waiting before pressing a button.

Neutral recovery is fully invincible and the fastest option. Side roll is invincible before becoming vulnerable at the end. Forward roll travels slightly less distance than back roll and is slower. The recovery of roll has a duration where the character has a hurtbox and can block but cannot attack. Catch rolls by chaining 5A/2A into itself because it strings on whiff. Throws are suppose to beat rolls but this is difficult to do consistently because throws have very short range.

After getting hit out of the air, hold 4, 5, or 6 and press an attack button to air recover. All air recoveries have a little bit of invincibility before coming vulnerable. Chase air recoveries with an air-to-air attack or air throw.

There are OTG (on-the-ground) attacks if a player doesn't quick recover. Getting hit OTG does not empty the Juggle Decay bar and you'll see players willingly take the hits to keep the Juggle Decay bar full.

The Juggle Decay (JD) gauge fills for the defender as they are getting comboed. It starts at 0 and is full at 380. When it's full a couple of things happen. Hitsparks turn red. Super meter gain reverses which makes the defender build more meter than the attacker. The combo doesn't end but Juggle Decay Gravity (JDG) starts which makes the defender heavier until they fall out of juggles. If the defender is grounded they become airborne and then fall out of the combo.

JD prevents infinite combos from existing and forces the attacker to vary up their combos. It's not just about quantity of hits but quality of hits. Starting combos with stronger attacks builds less JD than weaker attacks. Counter hits and super attacks remove JD. Many players like using shorter combos and ending with a hard knockdown instead of doing long combos that fill the JD gauge to full.

When the JD gauge is full, any hard knockdown that isn't caused by a super attack becomes a soft knockdown. Characters flash red during hard knockdowns. There is no red flash when the JD gauge is full.

JD Gauge starts to deplete after not being in hitstun or blockstun for a certain amount of time. It completely empties during ground recovery or air recovery. It's very common for players to not recover to keep the JD Gauge filled so that the next time they're hit the combo is shorter.

Backdash is invincible for 8 frames starting from frame 2. If performed as a reversal it is invincible for 9 frames starting from frame 1. Backdash can be canceled into an attack or jump. This is very rare. Many fighting games have invincible backdashes or cancelable backdashes but very few have invincible cancelable backdashes. This means you can use the invincibility to avoid an attack then immediately cancel to punish it.

There is air blocking and it blocks both grounded and air attacks. You can block high and mid attacks during the pre-jump frames but low attacks will always hit. Proximity guard keeps characters from jumping to prevent jumping and air blocking from being overpowered.

Blocking a couple frames before an attack connects is an Instant Block. It builds Super Meter, reduces pushback, and reduces blockstun by 3 frames when grounded and 6 frames in the air. At low health it negates chip damage.

Cross Canter is this game's Alpha Counter. Press 6 and two attack buttons in blockstun to perform it. It costs half a level of Super Meter and is strike-invulnerable. While it is unsafe on block and whiff, that rarely happens. An early Cross Canter is even fast enough to punish 5A/2A.

Cross Canter inflicts recoverable damage. Recoverable health recovers after being out of hitstun and blockstun for a certain amount of time. Recoverable health does not count as real health for timeout purposes. It used to be common for players to gain a life lead by hitting Cross Canters then running away until time ran out.

Press any two buttons in blockstun to pushblock. Pushblocked attacks inflict recoverable damage. At less than 300 health, pushblock negates chip damage. Pushblock locks the defender into 25 frames of blockstun but thankfully you don't have to do any math because training mode shows exact frame advantage for everything. Expect the attacker to recover before the defender in almost every situation. Pushblock distance is based on the strength of the attack that was blocked, with jump attacks creating the most distance.

Each individual hit has to be pushblocked separately. For example, if the first hit of a chain is pushblocked and the second hit connects while the defender is still in pushblock blockstun, it does not count as a pushblock and frame advantage is the same. Pushblock becomes less effective the more times it is used in a row.

If you expect your opponent to pushblock, the best thing to do is 5A/2A because it leaves you at a frame advantage and close enough to keep pressuring.

Throws are performed with B+C and are teched with the same input. There is a whiff animation if unsuccessful. Throws have 3 active frames. The throw tech window is 17 frames which is quite long. The defender is +1 after teching a throw. A green exclamation mark means the throw is techable and a red exclamation mark means it is not.

Every character has an air throw. It's active for 3 frames like a grounded throw.

Attacks can be plinked into throw tech. Press 5A then plink B+C for a standing A throw tech. Press 2A then plink B+C for a crouching A throw tech. Press 2B then plink B+C for a crouching B throw tech.

If you see a red exclamation mark it means you plink teched too early and the startup frames of your attack were thrown.

There are many defensive option selects because of overlapping inputs. The main option selects combine delayed throw tech, throw tech pushblock option select, and plink throw tech in various ways.

-The long tech window means you can tech very late which makes delayed throw tech a very good option.
-The throw tech pushblock option select exists because pushblock is performed with any two buttons in blockstun. The two buttons can be B+C which is the throw tech input. In blockstun it's pushblock and during a throw it's a throw tech.
-Plink throw tech in blockstun results in pushblock. In neutral it's a strike, in blockstun it's pushblock, and during a throw it's a throw tech.

It can be difficult to beat your opponent's defense when they combine defensive option selects. Offense is primarily based around staggering (delaying) pressure to beat these option selects.

Here's how I train offense. Go into Training Options and set Blocking to Always. Go into Block Recovery Options and a Recording Slot. I'll record the training dummy to do 2A plinked into throw tech or 2A~B+C. Then I'll turn on a Block Slot.

If I did it correctly the dummy will attack with 2A after blocking a single hit or a true blockstring. It will pushblock pressure/blockstrings with gaps. And it will tech tick throws. My goal is to find the right timing to hit my opponent. I'm trying to time my attack to hit the startup of the dummy's throw tech or plinked attack.

Characters

Arizona is a close range rushdown mixup character. Her walkspeed is the fastest in the game. Her short hop lets her get in, gives frame advantage, and gives her a quick overhead. 6B is an overhead that can be chained into from other normal attacks. 5C is plus on block if it hits on a later active frame. 2C is a knockdown. Jump B and jump C are great normal attacks both for regular jumps and short hops. Jump C is a cross-up.

236 special is a rekka that is not safe on block. 22 special is a short-ranged low stomp. The stomps cancel into other stomps, her rekka, or a jump. Her super attack is very fast as it only has 3 frames of startup and is invincible so she can use it as a reversal or whiff punisher.

Lasso is her Magic system. It builds a stock of Magic and pulls her opponent next to her, giving her a reset mixup. 22D is a full screen unblockable attack. 236D has armor and wall sticks. 41236D is a side switching dash. 214D is a parry.

Velvet is a zoner that inflicts a lot of chip damage. She has the fastest backdash in the game and a teleport to get away. She can dash forward and hold 1 to do a sliding low block. Her normal attacks are good for keepaway. Her crouching normal attacks don't hit low so she has to rely on her special attacks to hit low. She doesn't have any plus on block normal attacks or a normal overhead.

236 special attack is her icicle. She recovers before it leaves the screen so she can use it to position herself. 214A is a low attack, 214B a mid attack, and 214C is a high attack. These are all unsafe on block if not spaced properly. 623 special attack is a low attack that is plus on block. Her super attack when extended builds 3 stocks of Magic. Velvet's Level 3 super attack is a command throw.

Velvet's Magic regenerates by itself. It gives her a proper reversal and makes her attacks safe on block. 5D is a snowball that is very plus on block and fast enough to use in neutral or combos. 1D/2D/3D are lobbing snowballs that are even more plus on block. 4D and 6D allow her to vacuum in or blow away her opponent respectively. 623D is a low attack that has invincible startup and is plus on block.

Paprika is a character with long normal attacks, big damage, good pressure, good okizeme, and tricky movement. She can start combos from her mid range normal attacks. She has a short hop for mixups and pressure. 6CC and 6CCC are overheads that can cancel into her special attacks.

[4]6 special attack is her cartwheel. A cartwheel is safe on block and lets her approach. The other cartwheels are used in combos. 623 special attack is a command throw, making her scary in close range. [6]4 special attack is a teleport. All teleports are slow enough that they can be reacted to. C teleport is a high attack.

Paprika starts the round with stocks of Magic. She spends Magic to give her opponent gifts. She can only build more stocks when her opponent eats her gifts. 5D is a random gift. 214D is food. 236D is a projectile. 4D is a rolling low. D teleport is a low attack that is plus on block. Her super attack is a teleport that can cross-up and the extension lets her give out gifts without spending Magic. Paprika's Level 3 super attack is a command throw.

Tianhuo has the best mobility in the air as she can fly, high jump, and air dash. Her rushdown is very good as jump cancelable normal attacks let her keep the pressure going. 5C is a fireball that is very plus after flying and if it connects on a later active frame. 2B is a similar attack with a disjointed hitbox. Her 236 special attacks can all be performed in the air. Tianhuo's Level 3 super attack is an anti-air.

Tianhuo's magic automatically builds with time but pauses when she is air dashing or using Magic. 8D, 9D, 6D, 3D, and 2D cover every angle in the air. 7D, 4D, and 1D are strike-invulnerable. 5D is flight and gives her movement, overheads, cross-ups, and pressure.

When her super attack is extended, Tianhuo enters a powered up state. It fills up her Magic, reduces the damage she receives, and enhances her specials attack, flight, and jump A. She becomes very scary during this.

Oleander is a character with disjointed hitboxes on her attacks. She seems like a keepaway zoner but she can play in the mid range as she has good low attacks and a grounded overhead. She has a double jump and jump 2C changes her air trajectory. 22C is a teleport that lets her avoid attacks. 236 special attack is a fireball and she can have both a ground and air fireball on the screen at once. After a throw, she builds a stock of Magic and steals some of her opponent's meter. Her super attack's follow up summons a puppet that you control with D. Oleander's Level 3 super attack is a low attack.

Oleander builds Magic by reading her book with 5D. She is completely vulnerable while reading so don't do it too close to your opponent. D special attacks use all her Magic and the more stocks she uses the better the special attack will be. For example 236D with one stock is negative on block while 236D with three stocks is plus on block. You can do 236D even if you already have two other fireballs on screen. 214 special attacks are plus on block, very plus on hit, and steal meter. With Magic she can teleport with her other buttons and in the air.

Pom is a puppet character. She has short range on her attacks and relies on her dogs to fight for her. She has an air dash and a float to move around. Jump C has great range. 2B is another good normal attack. Her C normal attacks have long range but they have a lot of recovery. [4]6 A/B is a command dash that is strike-invulnerable. [4]6C creates a wall in front of her that staggers on hit. Her super attack is practically safe on block. The followup summons a big dog that she controls with D. Pom's Level 3 super attack is a counter.

Pom starts the round with three stocks of Magic. DD brings the dogs closer to her. 4/6D tells the dogs where to go. You can also use Negative Edge to release D while holding a direction to control the dogs. 22 and a button dismisses a dog, 22D dismisses all the dogs. Dismissing dogs is how you rebuild stocks of Magic.

236A summons a stationary puppy. D is for keeping the opponent in blockstun.
214A summons a following puppy. 3D/6D/9D or 1D/4D/7D is for pressure.
236B summons a puppy that costs two stocks of Magic. 1D/3D is a low. 4D/7D/9D/6D is for mid-combo damage and hitstun.
214B summons a helicopter puppy. 1D/3D is an overhead. 4D/7D/9D/6D is a forward moving attack.
236C is the mom. 1D/3D is a launcher. 4D/6D is a parry that causes a wall stick. 7D/9D is a command throw that causes a ground bounce.

Shanty is a fast character that moves everywhere on the screen. 4C/6C is an overhead that staggers on hit and can be feinted. 2B is a slide. Jump B has a vacuum effect that makes jump ins better. 236A is forward moving attack and is safe if the opponent crouch blocks it. Shanty's Level 3 super attack is a command throw.

She automatically builds Magic over time but she can Parley with 22A to manually build it. Super attack follow up builds 3 stocks of Magic. 5D is a fast run. With Magic she can travel quickly to either wall. During wall cling she has multiple options. She has a launcher, wall bounce, and cross-up.