Game Guides

Guilty Gear Strive: How Do You Play May?

A Beginner's Guide to Playing May

by Tess Smith


Guilty Gear Strive has several characters, but one of the easiest to get started with is the Jellyfish Pirate, May. May is a rush-down character with some balanced options that allow her strong control of space via her projectile, charge moves, and otherwise fantastic mobility. May also has powerful combos that are easy for beginners to perform and some more advanced options. So how do you play May? What’s the best way for beginners to approach her?

How to Play May in Guilty Gear Strive

May’s strategy is rush down heavy. Beginner May players correctly assume that they want to stay in their opponent’s face and apply pressure. Still, many people will struggle to properly mix their opponents up or fall into the trap of spamming her dolphins improperly. The key to properly playing May is to remain unpredictable. This can take the form of mixing up low and overhead attacks and using the heavy and light Mr. Dolphin options appropriately. The light Mr. Dolphin attacks, both horizontal and vertical, move faster and at a shorter range, but if they are blocked, leave May open to be punished. On the other hand, the heavy has to be charged longer and travels further but is plus on block, meaning that if the opponent tries to punish after being hit, you can get a hit in on them. If either Mr. Dolphin hits for a counter, you can dash in and use Overhead Kiss, her command grab for big damage. If you get this attack off, you can use a roman cancel and unleash a devastating combo, some of which will be listed below. Bringing the enemy to the wall with may’s longer combos and splatting them is one of the best ways to unleash her overdrive super attacks. However, her Wonderful and Dynamic Goshogawara overdrive can be unleashed from her crouching heavy slash if timed well. Below is a list of combos that you can use for May and a key that explains standard anime fighting game notation to read the guide.

Combo Guide


The numbers indicate each direction on the stick below and are considered standard notation for fighting game combos. The stick is currently at 6 or forward. Combo guides assume you are on the left side. Directions are reversed on the right. The easiest way to remember this is that it is the same layout as a Numpad on a keyboard.


Below is the notation for button inputs used in this guide. Close and far variations are determined by the characters’ distance from one another and are mapped to the same button.

  • P= Punch
  • K= Kick
  • S=Slash
  • c.S= Close Slash
  • f.S= Far Slash
  • HS= Heavy Slash
  • D= Dust
  • RC= Roman Cancel
  • J= means that the attack is the jumping variation, i.e., j.S= slashing while in the air.

Command-List for May’s Specials

  • Mr. Dolphin (horizontal): 46S or HS- May travels across the screen quickly on her Dolphin
  • Mr. Dolphin (vertical): 28S or HS- May travels upwards and forward
  • Overhead Kiss: 623K- May grabs and throws the opponent
  • Arisugawa Sparkle: 214P or K: A walrus appears and fires a ball at the opponent

Overdrive Attacks

  • Great Yamada Attack: 236236S: May summons a giant pink whale to crash down on her opponent
  • The Wonderful and Dynamic Goshogawara: 632146HS- May rides an orca upwards at the opponent, similar to vertical Mr. Dolphin

Beginner Combos for May

During combos with a charge move moving back to forward or up to down, begin charging during the previous move. Close and far slashes are determined automatically by your distance from the enemy.

  • 5c.S, 5f.S
  • 5c.S, 5HS
  • 5K, 2D, 46S
  • 5P, 5P, 6P
  • 5P, 5P, 46S
  • j.S, 5c.S, 5f.S, 46S If you land farther away, you can omit the close slash.

Beginner Roman Cancel Combos for May

  • 5CS, 2HS, RC, Dash In, 5c.S, 5c.S, 2HS, 28HS, 46S
  • 5CS, 2HS, 28HS, 46S, RC, 5CS, 2HS, 28HS. Add 6HS or 632146HS if the opponent is successfully stuck on the wall

These combos only scratch the surface of what is possible with May in Guilty Gear Strive. Any combo that ends with a horizontal dolphin can be Roman Cancelled and followed up from the point of the cancel in any of her Roman Cancel Combos above. These combos are some of the easier to intermediate combos she can perform and will help you through most situations in the game. Once you have mastered these combos, you can start to play more with intricate air movements and using each one unpredictably. The overhead kiss is a strong attack to Roman Cancel from and start longer combos if you have tension. Once you learn the fundamentals, you can move past these combos and work on developing your own. Hopefully, these combos and information will help you get started with May.

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