Soul Calibur IV Guide - Astaroth
Age: Seven years since initial creation
Weight: 287 lbs.
Birth Date: September 3
Blood Type: None
Weapon: Giant Axe
Weapon Name: Kulutues
Unlocked: Initially available.
Having learned the truth of his origins—that he had been modeled after a weak human—Astaroth, though furious he may be, gained a new perspective of himself. All along he had been at the mercy of his master, the god of destruction, and that realization brought about feelings of intense rage. Tira, servant of Soul Edge, convinces the raging golem to join Nightmare in Ostrheinsburg so that he may use Soul Edge's powers to exact revenge on his former master. Though wise to Tira's intention to use him, Astaroth sets out to Ostrheinsburg with intentions of his own; to consume all of the souls himself.
Though slow and lumbering, Astaroth's ferocious arsenal of moves can stir fear in even the most battle-hardened warrior. The golem's high damage output makes up for his slow movement and attack speed, however he can face significant difficulty when matched up against speedy characters. Astaroth is most effective at long-range for this reason, as he can comfortably dish out large amounts of damage with his long reach and crush incoming foes with well-timed attacks. He remains effective at mid-range, but you'll definitely want to keep him out of close-range.
The video below shows the following combinations. The directional notation system is used to describe each move.
Combo 1: 66 hold K, 22B
Combo 2: 66A, B~A G
Combo 3: 4 hold B, 28B G
Burial: Against downed opponent 2A K
Please read through 'The Basics' and 'Fighting Terms' for an explanation of the 'directional notation' and the fighting terms used to explain strategy.
Astaroth's most effective long-range moves are Discus (1A), Double Discus (1 hold A, A), or Discus Breaker (1 hold A, B) depending on the situation. Discus is a good, fairly quick attack that can push back rushing enemies, while Discus Breaker can deal a massive amount of damage if both strikes hit. All three forms of Discus are low attacks and offer significant horizontal coverage, meaning opponents will most likely be forced to block low if they are in range. You can set up a guessing game with the three variations of Discus at your disposal, as an opponent may continue to block low expecting a Double Discus, only to be crushed by Discus Breaker's mid hit (though it can be impacted rather easily).
Titan Axe (A B) can be used to swat sidestepping foes, and Bull Rush (66K)—a mid attack, that can also be delayed and strengthened by holding K—can surprise those who have wizened to Discus. Hades Hammer (22B) is another mid long-range attack that launches opponents high up into the air when it connects.
There are a few quick moves at mid-range that can deter foes who are looking to move up closer to Astaroth. Hades Divide (44A) will set your opponent spinning, and can then be followed by a quick Bull Rush (66K). Use Hades Control (4A) to interrupt your enemy's attacks An effective combo at mid-range is Ares Spiral Charge (66A, B) into Titan Bomb (28B G), a mid-air throw; time this correctly to deal massive damage. Guard Crusher (B K) can be used to spin your foe around, giving you a chance at a scoring a back throw. 4 hold A G is a chargeable grab in which Astaroth lunges at his opponent, allowing it to be executed from mid-range. Use with caution, however, as an interrupted grab means your foe's attack will carry counter-hit properties.
Astaroth also has a few grabs that can be used on downed foes to deal further damage, such as Burial (against downed opponent 2A K). Astaroth also has several attacks in his arsenal that can be used to stop an opponent's wakeup game; Hades (2B) or Ax Volcano (3B)—both of which can be charged by holding down the second input, turning the latter into an Unblockable—or Stamp of Hades (22 hold K), which can stagger an opponent should they rise and step back, or launch them if it connects.
If you're an Astaroth player, you do not want to be fighting at close-range. At this range, speedy characters can quickly diminish Astaroth's health bar once they get started. You'll have to rely on the few quick moves in your arsenal to push your foe back to mid-range. The quickest move at your disposal is Hades' Knee (6K), which knocks back a short distance. Hades' Knee is still slower than most characters' moves, so you'll have to wait until your opponent is at the disadvantage. Reverse Tamer (1K, A) is another option, but it comes with a slow start up. Astaroth also has several low grabs, such as Bludgeoning Crush (2A G) and Flood of Lava (3B G), which can be used to get through a low guard or to prevent low attacks.