Soul Calibur IV Guide - Ivy
Ivy (Isabella Valentine)
Birthplace: London, British Empire
Weight: 128 lbs.
Birth Date: December 10
Blood Type: Unknown
Weapon: Snake Sword
Weapon Name: Valentine (Ivy Blade)
Discipline: Unrelated Link
Family: Adoptive parents/Deceased, Father/Cervantes, Mother/Deceased
Unlocked: Initially available.
Following the path set by her adoptive father, Ivy took up alchemy in search of Soul Edge. During her research, Ivy discovered the fabled sword's true nature, and vowed to destroy it. Through her travels she later learns that Cervantes de Leon, the previous wielder of Soul Edge, had sired her. This realization led to her self-isolation for a time, after which she emerged more determined than ever to destroy the cursed sword. The evil blood coursing through her veins prevents her from wielding the spirit sword Soul Calibur, but after suffering a near death at the hands of Cervantes and using an artificial soul to save herself, she sets out to destroy Soul Edge once and for all.
Ivy is without a doubt one of the tougher characters to master. Each of her four stances, Coiled (default), Sword (during Coiled State A B), Whip (during Coiled State A K), and Serpent's Embrace (during Sword State B K) offer a different selection of moves, making her a difficult character to excel with. This complexity makes her an extremely versatile fighter, however, as she boasts attacks suitable for attacking at any range. Don't let her appearance fool you; Ivy's ridiculous outfit and proportions do nothing to hinder her performance in battle.
The video below shows the following combinations. The directional notation system is used to describe each move.
Combo 1: Whip 1B, 2B K
Combo 2: Coiled 3B~236B, B
Combo 3: Whip 3B~Serpent’s Embrace 66K~Sword 1K, B
Combo 4: Coiled 1A, A K~Whip 3B K
Please read through 'The Basics' and 'Fighting Terms' for an explanation of the 'directional notation' and the fighting terms used to explain strategy.
Though not particularly suited for long-range combat, Ivy does have a few tools to use from a great distance. Serpent's Embrace (during Sword State B K, Ivy wraps the sword around her left shoulder) opens up Stinging Souls (B K for long-range, 6B K for great ranges, 4B K mid-range), a mid-attack that stuns on hit, but is very easy to avoid if the opponent is familiar with Ivy's fighting style.
Know Thyself (during Coiled State A K) switches Ivy's weapon to its Whip state, which offers the best long-range options. Note that Coiled is the weapon's default state, and can be switched back to from Whip with B K and from Sword with A K. Rushing Raven (during Whip State 6B) is a long-range high attack that stuns on a normal or counter-hit. Though easy to avoid by crouching or sidestepping, Rushing Raven offers incredible range. Ivy Masquerade (during Whip State while crouching 3B) is a low poke that links to Suppressed Exile if B is held. Suppressed Exile is an Unblockable move that launches on hit and deals substantial damage; it can be canceled with A B to immediately launch the target.
Ancient Wheel (during Whip State 1A, A) is a long-range low attack that can be used to thwart sidestepping. Since Ancient Wheel puts Ivy into a crouch animation, follow up with Asylum (during Whip State while rising A B), a series of mid-hitting strikes that circle around Ivy, to catch opponents who are intent on rushing in. Cage Master (during Whip State while rising B, B) a quick mid-strike into a mid-air attack throw, is another option. Insanity Light (during Whip State hold 2_8, A) is a good 8-Way Run counter; it shifts into an attack throw if used close enough, after which the foe ends up with their back to Ivy.
Dancing Gnome (during Whip State 6A B) is a linear long-range attack that stuns on a normal or counter-hit, and can be turned into an Unblockable if A B is held. Though Dancing Gnome doesn't deal a great amount of damage, its Unblockable variation is very difficult for your opponent to avoid unless they strike before it comes out. You can release A B at any time to perform the normal variation if your enemy is charging.
Reveal Thyself (during Coiled State B K) changes Ivy's weapon to its Sword State, which is best used during close-range combat. Royal Huntress (hold 2_8, K) is a low sweep that ducks under high attacks and downs the opponent. Use Asylum (during Sword State while rising A B) to catch foes who tend to rise immediately after being grounded. Gnome Huntress (during Sword State 3 hold B K) is a high-hitting Unblockable that comes at the opponent from behind. You have to be at mid-range to use Gnome Huntress, but it is good for catching rising opponents after a knockdown. Use Pride (during Sword State while rising B), a mid-hitting launcher that can lead to a damaging juggle, after ducking under a high attack or grab, or after using a move that puts Ivy into a crouching animation (ex., Charmer Silhouette (during Coiled State 2K)).
Ivy's Serpent's Embrace stance offers a few good moves, but it is often difficult to switch to in the heat of battle as it can't be switched to while performing attacks. The stances highlights are Lamenting Tail (during Serpent's Embrace A K), a low-hitting attack throw, Mistress' Justice (during Serpent's Embrace B, B, B), which can be used to whip a downed enemy, and Wind Embrace (A during hit 236A), a surprisingly quick Unblockable combo (can be avoided by crouching).