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[Character Guide] Mastering the Mentor: A Guide to Midori

This guide was written by @ClanNatioy

Early Game/Human Form

Midori is a grappler, which means he likes to throw and does it well, that has a human form and a dragon form. He has fast efficient throws (2-5) that can combo into high normals (6-8). The downside to this is he has slow normals (4-8). It is almost always a bad idea to play Midori’s normals in combat and you will hardly ever do this, except in a few matchups. Since Midori is good at throwing, his throws will beat almost all other opponents throws plus all blocks and dodges, the opponent is more likely to attack to beat your throws. Because of this you will have to block quite a bit in the early game.

Basically Midori’s early game is Block/Throw. Getting early blocks are important because it will build Midori’s hand up which will give him the opportunity to power up for aces and to get a great hand of dragon cards. Throwing the opponent is important because you will want to stop them from building up a hand, You want to get damage in, and the opponent will not sit iddly by while you build up a hand. Just because you have the faster throws does not mean they will never try to throw you. Use your better throws to stuff their attempts to throw you.

Keeping the opponents hand down

If the opponent ever goes low hand size, most likely because they just hit with a big combo, it is possible to keep their hand size down but it can be difficult. When the opponent has a low amount of cards and you still have a good amount of health they are more likely to normal attack/block. This means you can keep their hand size down by blocking their normals (thanks to your defensive mastery blocks the opponent will not draw a card when you block their normals) and throwing their blocks. This can be a bit tricky to pull off though but don’t worry too much if an opponent sneaks in a normal attack to beat your throws because most characters do low amount of damage when they are low on cards.


When playing Midori, or any Grappler for that matter, it takes a lot of patience. If you are the kind of person that just wants to run in and smash people with huge fast attacks and combos then Midori wont be for you. It can take a lot of discipline to be able to block as much as you need to in order to win games. For some blocking a lot makes them antsy and they just want to start doing damage. Grapplers can’t think this way. They have to wait for their opportunity to strike.

Some opponents are going to be more aggresive with their throws when playing against a Grappler and some will be afraid to throw. It is your job to figure out how willing the opponent is to throw and shut them down when ever they attempt to throw you. Most characters have throws only on cards 7-10 and it is pretty costly for them in cards to be able to throw early and get good damage. Many characters also have abilities on their throws so it is very possible that if some one is over aggressive with you they will run themselves out of throws and all the sudden your blocks become very safe.

While having to block a lot in the early game takes patience and some discipline having to block in the late game takes even more. There are times when you will have no dodges and no fast attacks in the late game and the opponent is low on life and all you want to do is finish them off but without dodges or attacks that can out speed your opponents there’s a good chance you will have to block in order to avoid the opponents fast attacks and this can be hard for some people to do. Throws still have a chance at working it depends on the opponent really but the opponent will have a strong incentive to fast attack in the late game when life totals are low.

Even when Midori has a hand that has a couple of Qs if he has no way to flip them he is going to have to stay patient and continue to build his hand off his throw/block game. Even if he has some Qs and 2 in hand but no K or at least 3 aces he should wait and play his usual throw/block game until he can get some dragon throws in hand so he will have access to the full mix up.

In the match up guides below I talk a lot about having opportunities to throw people. But how do you know how often to go for throws? too little and your blocks get thrown too much and you keep getting punched and run yourself out of throws. A lot of it depends on the mu and the opponent.

One thing that really helps a Grappler get a lot of throws in is being able to spot a bad hand. If you can tell the opponent has a bad hand you can be a lot more aggressive with throws if they have a good hand you need to play more defensively. Each mu has different ways to tell if the opponent has a bad hand or not. Some of the generic tells are if an opponent blocks more often then is normal to against a Grappler, if they have a decent sized hand and hit you with a normal but don’t follow up with any thing, and if they attack with a high normal (this is specific to Midori and won’t be a tell of a bad hand for the other Grapplers).

There are other tells but those are some of the big ones. Being able to notice patterns and read the opponent are great tools for a Grappler player to have as well. If you notice an opponent likes to block when he knocks you down then go for throws there. Being patient, noticing patterns, making the reads and spotting bad hands are all valuable skills for a Midori player to have.


Normally Midori can only play the dragon form side of his special/super cards (J, Q, K, Aces) while in dragon form but thanks to his powerful 10 ability Midori can get around this restriction. Glimpse of the Dragon allows Midori to flip a played human form special attack into its dragon form side. This is a very powerful tool and allows Midori to land some big damage while still in human form. Q is the card you will use this ability on most of the time. A lot of Midori’s power is condensed into dragon Q so make sure when you play it in human form you have the flip to back it up and also make sure you have a high normal or J to combo into. You need to make Q hurt when you play it, Midori can not afford to just throw this card away.

J will not often be flipped but their are times when it can be good such as when you have AA and you can combo into it from dragon J to beat out the opponents dodge or if you have two linkable high normals in hand (6,7 or 7,8). If you have Q though and you aren’t trying to combo into AA it will almost always be better to just play that instead.

You will almost never flip K (except in a few mu and corner cases) the extra speed doesn’t matter in most mu and using the ability for an extra 5 damage is just not worth it unless of course it will be lethal or it can be good at times if it will put the opponent at 1 or 2 health (which puts them in a spot where they will be afraid to block for fear of being chipped to death). One very important thing to note that if an oppponent is between 13 and 17 health and you hit with Rushing River you can use Glimpse of the Dragon to deal the extra damage needed to win. This is great because it gets around Jokers.

Dragon Form

After Midori has had time to build up a hand he can enter his powerful dragon form. There are several kinds of hands that you can have that make entering dragon form good, these hands include:

  • at least one Q and K (more is better)
  • at least two K and some dodges
  • AAAA and a dodge

A block also rounds out all these hands as well but usually Midori doesn’t have a problem with getting these cards. With these hands Midori can play effective mixups. With the first hand use Q to beat attacks (you will have to block/dodge to beat attacks that beat Dragon Mountain though) and then use K to beat everything else. With the second hand you want to dodge their attacks and then follow up with K and then just play K to beat everything else. The third hand will scare the opponent the most, it’s the same mix up as the second hand but when it lands it does 52 damage.

Do not neglect dragon form. What makes Midori work as a character is being able to do his big damage while transformed. If you have the cards for it don’t hesitate to enter the form. I didn’t include J in any of these hands because it’s not a super great dragon card and it’s speed will lose to a lot of charaters attacks, not to say that it’s a bad card it’s just a much riskier play. Becareful about entering dragon form in the early game. Even if you start with a Q, K, and a 2 it is usually not wise to enter dragon form on turn two. If you wait for the mid game to enter dragon form it will make your hand more ambiguous and allow dragon attacks/throws and dragon blocks to me more effective.

Dragon Block

Midori’s blocks become very strong while in dragon form. When they successfully block an attack or Joker instead of drawing normally you can retrieve any non-Joker card from the discard. This is huge and allows Midori to pull face cards, aces, dodges, and 2s (if you had lost a dragon form already) out of the discard to keep up his dragon offinsive. Even pulling out other cards (3-8) can be good if there is nothing better and if it gives you some cards to power up.

Be very careful about blowing through all your dragon cards and then just trying to block to get them back especially if you’ve played a lot of dragon cards. The more dragon cards you play the more likely your opponent is going to see the block coming and just throw you. This is a time where dragon J can have it’s uses. If you suspect a throw is coming and you’re out of all other dragon cards this is a perfect time to dragon J. If you have the cards make sure to follow it up with high normals. Another good option when you’ve run yourself out of dragon cards and you suspect a throw just play a human throw and exit dragon form.

When you still have a K, dodge, and block in hand with other dragon cards in discard it can be tough to know if you should go for the dodge/K mixup or just block for more cards. It usually depends on what phase of the game you’re in. if you’re in the mid game it’s usually a good idea to block (as long as you think an attack is coming) to get back your powerful cards. However, if it’s late game it’s usually better to just go for the damage and try and finish off the opponent.


Midori is bad when knocked down. He doesn’t have many fast attacks to be able to defend himself from the opponents fast options. Many times he just has to guess the correct block. Midori on the other hand doesn’t make much use of knock down. Whenever you throw an opponent it is almost always better to follow up with a high normal rather then take the knock down. Since Midori’s dragon attacks already beat normal dodges and he doesn’t have fast normals to take advantage any way. Knock down just doesn’t serve much purpose for Midori. There are times when KD is beneficial for though. Against opponents with special dodges KD can be helpful. Also if you’re threatening AA keeping KD can help you land a mix up normal (this is a fairly risky play) into AA or just playing AA naked.

Card Analysis

2 Throw/Block
Since this card has the Dragon Form ability on it, it will almost always be used for that. Only use it as a block if you have no other blocks and only in the most extreme of cases should you use it as a throw (by extreme I mean it better win you the game and you have no other throws left).

3 Throw/Block
This card is very useful as a block. While it is good as a throw Midori’s 4 and 5 handle that better because they are less valuable cards. Using this card as a throw is still okay if you have no 4 or 5 throws. Powering up with this card is okay.

4 Throw/Attack
This card is a throw. Powering up with it is good too

5 Throw/Attack
This card is a throw. Powering up with it is good too

6 Block/Attack
Blocking is this card’s primary use. It can be okay to tack onto a throw or dragon Q if you don’t have any 7 or 8. Powering up with this card is good too

7 Block/Attack
This card is good for sticking on throws or on dragon Q. It is also good as a block if you have no others. Can be okay to power up with this card.

8 Block/Attack
This card is very good for sticking on throws or on dragon Q. It is also good as a block if you have no others. Can be okay to power up with this card.

9 Dodge/Throw
This card is a dodge. It should only be used as a throw in extreme situations since it will lose to the opponents attacks and the majority of their throws

10 Dodge/Throw
This card is a dodge or an ability. Always dodge with 9 if you have them before dodging with 10. It should only be used as a throw in extreme situations since it will lose to the opponents attacks and all of their throws.

J Attack/Attack
Whirlwind (J, human form) is good for sticking on the end of combos. It is also good as a poke early game in a lot of matchups. Throwing into J+ or hitting with Dragon Mountain into J+ are some of Midori’s most damaging combos. Toxic Breath (J, Dragon form) into AA can also be quite good escpecially if the opponent was attempting to dodge what they suspect to be a naked AA play.

Q Attack/Attack
Rising Mountain (Q, human form) should hardly ever be used without Glimpsing if it can helped. The only time it should be used with out Glimpse back up is if it will win you the game or you need to get an aggressive opponent off of you. Speed 1.2 is still very fast in most mu and can be effective at undercutting a lot of the opponents more damaging options. Dragon Mountain (Q, dragon form) is a very powerful card at speed 0.6, 14 damage and it’s a linker. It is one of the most efficient cards for its speed.

Dragon Mountain is one of Midori’s scariest options and fear of this card will make the opponent more likely to block which makes Midori’s throws more likely to land. Also this is a card that will take big chunks out of the opponent’s life. Dragon Mountain’s top damage combos are 22 damage (Q into 8 or J) and 30 damage (Q into J+). It is an all around amazing card. Not many cards in the game can get this kind of damage off this kind of speed on top of all this it beats normal dodges.

K Throw/Throw
Rushing River (K, human form) should hardly ever be used as a combat card. It does less damage then your normal throw combos and only be used as a throw if you have no other throws left. Talon Swoop (K, dragon form) on the other hand is the most damaging single card in the game. Save these cards for when you’re actually in dragon form giving access to a very deadly K/dodge mixup.

A Throw/Attack
Wrath of Earth (AA, human form) is solid double ace move. It has a respectable 1.2 speed and does 20 damage. Midori also has an easier time then most getting aces because of his good block/throw game. Powering up for aces so your opponent knows you have them can also scare them into blocking more which allows your throws to catch blocks more often. This doesn’t mean you should never play Wrath of Earth though. If they aren’t respecting it you can play it naked. It also works well as a dodge follow up if the opponent has lots of options that out speed it.

Midori can have trouble comboing into AA though because he can’t throw into and his normals are so slow. Then only move that has decent speed that can combo into AA is Toxic Breath (J, Dragon Form). This is one of the times where Glimpsing into Toxic breath can be beneficial because if the opponent knows you have AA they may try to dodge it (only your dragon attacks beat dodges) so if you have J and a 10 in hand Glimpsing J into AA can be a very effective way to get around those dodge attempts and the combo will do a high amount of damage (29).

Final Dragon Buster (AA +A+A) ties in speed with the two other Grapplers super throws, will beat every other throw in the game (speed 0.0), and at 52 damage is the second most powerful move in the game. (it does this damage only if you have all four aces). If you are in dragon form and have AAAA and a dodge in hand the opponent will be terrified. As long as you pick the right option there is no way they escape this mixup (providing they don’t have a Joker). Against characters that let you build a hand going for AAAA is a great way to win the game. Against characters that make hand building difficult it can be quite a challenge to get that many aces in hand and it can be better to just use Wrath of Earth.

Using Final Dragon Buster when you only have two aces in hand is usually a bad play. Talon Swoop would be the better option because it only does 3 damage less and it beats nearly all the same throws that Final Dragon Buster would. Use this move only when you have three or four aces to land 36 or 52 damage respectively

Midori will often use Jokers to escape combo damage. This is probably what you will use them for the majority of the time. However, sometimes he will play them directly in combat. This is good vs very aggressive opponents or if you find yourself in a bad situation with no/very limited options to get out. Even though Midori prefers to use Jokers to avoid damage playing them directly in combat is also very effective as well. It will give him instant access to Wrath of Earth and it can help him build up to a full Final Dragon Buster against opponents that normally make this difficult to obtain.

Since Midori tends to do efficient damage off of single cards the opponent is not likely to use his Jokers or bluffs when they lose to things like Dragon Mountain or a throw (low life totals will of coarse change everything). They are more likely to play a joker when you’re in dragon form and you dodge their attack, they are especially likely to joker or bluff when you land Final Dragon Buster or when you dodge and they know you have Final Dragon Buster in hand. In fact there is a pretty good test that Midori can do to sniff out Jokers. Get Final Dragon Buster in hand, get into dragon form, attack the opponent with a dragon attack. If they attacked there is a very strong chance that they have a joker in hand. If they threw there is a very strong chance that they don’t have a Joker in hand.

This guide was written by @ClanNatioy