The Truth About DSS

(Check out our glossary as you read this article for definitions of the jargon used)

For players looking to pick up Marshall Law or take him to the next level, I’m going to type out all I’ve learned about DSS (Dragon Sign Stance) that took way to much more time than necessary going through videos, posts and experimenting. Everything I’ve learned has been tested on a DualShock 4; other input devices may have a different experience.

As much as I don’t take credit for this information, I can’t recall who to properly credit because I obtained this from all over the place. I will however credit C-Krizzle as a majority of the info came from his channel, whether from his videos or the YouTube comment section. Shout out to LegendKicker as well for his extensive video guides on the character.

I cannot stress enough how important VISUAL CUES are when it comes to doing DSS from attacks. However, with time, the rhythm will start to stick and you’ll no longer need to keep an eye on Marshall’s stance every time (but it certainly always helps). This is especially important for WS 4 into DSS or doing his 4, 3 DSS combos online.

This is all just to help you get used to the timing involved in the DSS. How you master it can be up to you, but these are the training wheels.

There are 5 key variations when it comes to DSS:

  1. Raw DSS (d+1+2)
  2. DSS from punches
  3. DSS from kicks
  4. DSS after a parry
  5. DSS after WS 3
  6. Auto DSS from SS 2

1. Raw DSS (d+1+2)

You can do attacks from DSS as soon as you do the input.

You can use a raw legend kick (DSS f+4) to end some combos quickly.

TEST: d/f+2 = f+4, u+3 = b+2 = b+2 = b+2, 1 S! raw legend kick

CHALLENGE: (Works on every character)

2. DSS after punches

Can be done by pressing b, f from the following:

The key to getting this as quick as possible is by seeing Marshall pull back his right arm towards his body. What I mean is, a right attack will stretch out his right arm, but once he retracts his arm, that’s when you can do the DSS attack. b,f can be pressed at any time during the attack animation but the DSS attacks can only come out once his arm is back in position.

DSS from 1, 2 and WS 1, 2 is mostly used if you want to armor through any retaliations after they get blocked. You can input it after you confirm that the move has been blocked, otherwise there isn’t much need for it.

TEST: To test this timing, go to practice mode. Enable counter hit and try this combo:

CH f+3+4 = 1, 2 = DSS 3

If you get that to connect, you’re on the right track.

Note: DSS transitions from punches don’t cut down Law’s recovery frames by much save for a few:

Input Window Recovery
1, 2 from +6 to +7 1 frame
WS 1 from -1 to +2 3 frames
WS 1, 2 from -9 to +4 5 frames
b+1, 2 from 0 to +5 5 frames
b+1 from +2 to +8 6 frames
b+2, 2 from +4 to +10 6 frames

3. DSS after kicks

Input Window Recovery
4,3 from -5 to +15 20 frames!
4, 3, 4 from -1 to +13 14 frames
b+2, 3, 4 on block, from -7 to +6 13 frames
WS 4 from +7 to +17 (possibly higher, my execution may not be the best) 10 frames

Now kicks don’t go straight into DSS after pressing b,f. They enter DFS (Dragon Fake Step), which isn’t exactly the same as a raw Fake Step (b+1+2). In order to enter DSS after DFS, you cancel with another f (forward) input so the entire input will become b, f, f.

But here’s the catch: You can press the initial b,f at any time during the kick animation, but you can only cancel DFS once you SEE Marshall put his foot down. As soon as it touches the ground, press the second forward and it’ll cancel DFS immediately into DSS. Attacks can be input at any time after this.

Another big catch is that there are two versions of DFS. This is especially important for WS 4 into DSS:

  1. The first version is the improper one; it has a much longer animation and is harder to cancel. This is when the f input in b, f is registered after the kick has already connected on the opponent. The only good thing about this version is that Marshall retreats much farther away from the opponent, because he can’t block during DFS.

  2. The second version is the proper one, when b, f is input before the kick lands on the opponent. This version is easier to cancel and great for moves like 4,3 because there’s more time to input it before the second hit connects. However when we get to WS4 is where the trickiness arises.

An important point to note is that with any move from DSS that contains a forward input, e.g. DSS f+1, DSS f+3 and legend kick, you do not need to cancel DFS first . The forward input in the move you want to do will cancel DFS for you.

This may be because the game often registers moves like f+3 as (f, )f+3. Your experience may be different on keyboard or any other more precise controller.

Here’s what I’m saying; if you want to do DSS 3 after 4, 3, 4, it’ll go like this:

If you want to do DSS f+3 after 4, 3, 4, it’ll go like this:

You skip a whole step this way.

This is very important when it comes to his wall combo and his combo ender.

TIP: When it comes to 4, 3 and 4, 3, 4, you have less time to do b, f in the former. A little trick I’ve devised to marry the timing of the two is doing 4, 3 as 4~3 then casually inputting b, f afterwards. This way you won’t ever confuse the timing of the two. So the input doesn’t become 4 (b, f) 3 but instead it’s 4~3 b, f.

TEST: In practice mode (guard off), see if you can get 4, 3 = DSS f+2 or 4, 3 = DSS 2+4 to register as a combo.

TEST 2: In practice mode (guard off), try b+2, 3, 4 = DSS 3.

Remember: b, f done at any time during the attack. Press another f as soon as his right leg lands and follow up quickly with a 3. If you do it perfectly, DSS 3 will actually go under the opponent because you did it too fast; look at you go!

TEST 3: 3+4, 4 = dash b+2, 4, 3 = DSS f+4

CHALLENGE: 3+4, 4 = dash f+2 = f+4, 3, 4 = DSS f+4 (works on every character)

4. DSS after a parry

Marshall can do DSS from his generic parry (b+2+4_b+1+3). This will give him enough frames to get DSS 1 (and its follow-ups) or DSS 2 for free.

TEST: Go to practice mode. Record the CPU doing two jabs and then walking backward (or holding down) for 3 full seconds (to ensure it’s still trying to block after the parry animation). Parry the second jab and follow up with DSS 1, f+1.

It’ll seem hard at first, but you have enough time to get that b, f into DSS 1. Luckily no cancel is required.

5. DSS after a WS 3

A rather interesting one. This move requires no input to cancel and it goes straight into the proper version of DFS.

Just like the other kicks, you cancel DFS as soon as the leg lands. If you do it properly, you can get DSS 3+4, 4 for free on hit.

TEST: WS3 = DSS f+2 as a combo at the wall

CHALLENGE: (Second action: Guard all)

The difficulty in the last one comes in the placement of your 3+4 button-bind, if at all you bind your buttons.

6. Auto DSS from SS 2

Every hit of his SS 2, 1, 2, 1 string will transition automatically into DSS except the last hit. It’s not a particularly good string, but now you know it’s there.

7. DSS after WS 4

I gave this its own section because it’ll be easier once you familiarize yourself with the first 6 steps.

WS4 can only give a CH combo if you use the proper version of DFS (b, f is input before the kick lands on the opponent). The issue is that WS 4 is an i11 move. That’s not very much time, but it can be done.

Before trying any combos, practice inputting WS 4 = b, f. You’ll know you’re getting the proper version when Marshall retreats much faster. The improper version takes longer to come out and longer to cancel; it also just looks much slower altogether.

Once you’re getting the proper DFS consistently, begin practicing WS 4 = b, f into DSS f+2. Remember that you still have to wait for Law to put his foot down before you can do moves from DSS. The window is so small though, that you can almost almost mash it out, but don’t. Learn the proper timing. It will be better in the long run.

Before you hop skip and jump to CH WS 4 into DSS 3+4, 4, if you feel you’ve gotten a good grasp on the timing, practice doing it in combos first. CH f+3+4 is a good launcher to use.

TEST: CH f+3+4 = WS 4 = DSS f+2


After that, now go for the big guns and attempt CH WS 4 into DSS 3+4, 4 and you’ll be good to go!

That’s it for this guide. Hope it helps!

Side note: Moves from raw fake step (b+1+2 if it doesn’t parry anything) can be done earliest in-between the third and fourth hops (when Law is at his farthest point back).