1 Meter: HP double > light On Ryo Zan > HP double > light On Ryo Zan > HP double > Shadow Possession ender (58%)
2 Meter: HP double > light On Ryo Zan > HP double > Shadow On Ryo Zan > Shadow Possession ender (63%)
( Damage calculation notes)
Notes: Hisako only has one shadow linker that is useful during the proper combo sequence, which is shadow On Ryo Zan. Since it is extremely slow, it makes sense to spend her meter on the shadow Possession damage ender first, and as a result, the 2-meter punish isn't substantially larger than the 1-meter punish. On Ryo Zan linkers are a little faster than Influence linkers and do slightly more damage. In instinct, Hisako can freestyle manual combos in cool ways, but they are not ideal for maximizing damage during a lockout.
Above Hisako's shadow gauge is a green Wrath meter, which starts the game full and drains whenever Hisako performs certain actions. Pressing any medium or heavy normal or performing any special move drains the Wrath gauge by a set amount. Wrath will start to refill as long as Hisako is standing still or walking; it will not refill if Hisako is attacking, dashing, jumping, in block stun, being hit, or knocked down. If your Wrath is empty due to continued attacks, Hisako will need to find an opportunity to sit still and not press buttons to gain it back. Wrath will refill from empty to full in about 1 second, which isn't very long, but the fast-paced nature of KI makes it difficult to find the reprieve you need to keep Wrath full. It's important to note that even if your Wrath is empty, Hisako can still use normals and specials that would otherwise drain the Wrath.
If Wrath does not prevent you from using these moves, what's the benefit to keeping Wrath full? There are three main benefits to having Wrath. Firstly, if your Wrath is 100% full, every medium normal, heavy normal, or On Ryo Zan (both ground and air) is a counter-hit. Counter-hits in KI normally add a small amount of hitstun and increase the damage slightly, but Hisako's counter-hits are special; they do massive amounts of hitstun. In particular, close HK, far HK, and close HP will all cause stagger on counter-hit, which lets Hisako dash in and continue the combo with another attack. This means Hisako is scary from range and in close when she has full Wrath, but if she performs a normal or special and you don't get hit, the counter-hit threat is gone for a short amount of time, until her Wrath is full again.
Secondly, if Wrath is 100% full, her close-range Influence command grab and aerial On Ryo Zan, normally hard knockdowns, will instead act as openers (aerial On Ryo Zan will recapture opponents if they are airborne to start a grounded combo). This allows Hisako to get combos in situations she otherwise wouldn't, but the threat is again front-loaded to just one attack; if you are able to convince her to spend wrath on a normal attack or avoid a special move, you are free from this threat until Hisako finds space to allow her Wrath to refill. However, a Hisako with full Wrath in your face is quite terrifying, since you must respect a counter-hit normal, the threat of a command grab, and the possibility of a cross-up air On Ryo Zan, all of which will lead to full combos.
Lastly, if Hisako has more than 50% wrath remaining (as indicated by the icon in the center of her Wrath gauge), she can cancel moves into a Vengeance counter or Descent teleport for 50% of her Wrath. She can cancel any grounded normal or special (except shadow moves, Influence, or another Vengeance counter) at any point, including during its startup, active frames, or recovery. This has numerous important applications. If someone jumps over a laggy normal, Hisako can Vengeance cancel to punish any jump-in attack. If someone tries to punish the otherwise unsafe grounded On Ryo Zan strings, Hisako can make them pay with a correct read, or teleport to keep them on their toes. If someone tries to reversal through pressure with a screen-freezing move, or any shadow counter, Hisako can react to the freeze with a Vengeance cancel, even if she has committed to another move. The end result is that if Hisako has played intelligently and kept her Wrath over 50%, many of her opponent's stalwart defensive options become limited and risky to perform. Hisako can force you to question what actions you're able to take, and this hesitation can lead to command grabs or other tricks.
Interestingly, Hisako really only has one primary special move opener that is reliable to use as a footsies tool, which is grounded On Ryo Zan. This three-stage rekka move will trigger the opener on the third hit only, and the second and third hits can either be slow low attacks (LP), slow overhead attacks (MP), or fast mid-hitting attacks (HP), and these hits can be mixed and matched to test an opponent's blocking mettle. All hits of all versions of rekka are quite unsafe on block (-10 or worse), but at maximum range it can be difficult to punish the earlier hits. Not only are the rekkas unsafe, but there are gaps between the low and overhead swings which can be interrupted by an opponent's normals. To stop people mashing buttons after blocking the first hit of On Ryo Zan, you have two options besides trying to pick a better range; either use 50% of your Wrath to cancel into a Vengeance counter, or use the HP rekka which has a much smaller gap designed to counter-hit buttons or attempts to jump away. If they patiently block, however, this is a risk that puts Hisako at continually worse disadvantage. Shadow On Ryo Zan has outstanding range and is fully projectile invincible, and can be used to beat all projectiles from well over half screen away on reaction easily. Unfortunately, there is not enough frame advantage after On Ryo Zan or shadow On Ryo Zan to perform a manual; if you use this as your opener, you must follow up with an auto-double or a linker. The same is true for a full Wrath Influence.
Vengeance is a very unique move in Killer Instinct. It has two versions, a high version (PPP) that counters all overhead and mid attacks, and a low version (KKK) that counters all low attacks. It is active on the very first frame and if an appropriate strike hits the counter, it will always begin a combo, no matter where Hisako or her opponent are on the screen. However, Vengeance will never counter throws, projectiles, or unblockable attacks (like Glacius's Shatter or Sabrewulf's charged Overpower). Although you can cancel into Vengeance from certain moves with 50% Wrath, Vengeance itself is not tied to Wrath in any way; it always acts the same way no matter the state of your Wrath meter.
Because Vengeance is an opener, it is always cancelable into auto-doubles or linkers, but which manuals are possible depends on what animation plays when Vengeance connects. If Hisako is close to her opponent and both characters are grounded, she will play a close range counter strike that allows only light and medium manuals. But if Hisako catches an aerial or long-range attack, Hisako will leap into the air and slam her opponent to the ground. This version leaves you at huge frame advantage and even the slowest heavy manuals are simple to connect. Air On Ryo Zan is only an opener at full Wrath, which means it will also be a counter-hit and a recapture, and similarly large frame advantage will apply.
Hisako can also begin a combo after both of her regular throws, no matter the location on the screen. It is not a true opener since you cannot cancel it into auto-doubles or linkers, but there is enough time to link a light or medium manual. The KV starts quite high, so your follow-up combo will be short, but there are also tricky reset possibilities here, especially with full Wrath, that make Hisako's regular throw particularly scary. For example, do a regular throw and then immediately do an Influence command grab to catch people who might try to break. With full Wrath, this starts a new combo with lower KV.
Hisako's linker game is quite straightforward. On Ryo Zan as a linker looks very similar in animation and cadence to Jago's Laser Sword and Spinal's Soul Sword linkers, and can be broken with similar visual and audio cues. It can be difficult to tell these linkers apart from her auto-doubles, which also frequently use her naginata, so watch for the giant green swiping special effect her blade emits during the linker. For the Influence linker, Hisako delivers a strike that slices through her opponent but does not switch sides. Both Influence and On Ryo Zan do similar damage and leave the opponent in a similar location; On Ryo Zan is slightly faster to allow more heavy auto-doubles in lockout situations, while Influence adds considerably less to the KV meter. Hisako's auto-doubles and linkers do not cost her any Wrath to perform.
Possession does good damage to end a combo, but the opponent is able to quick rise the knockdown, meaning you will be unable to regenerate any Wrath you may have spent before your combo started, so it is best used to end a round or if you have nearly full Wrath already. Influence is a hard knockdown, which gives Hisako the time she needs to regenerate her Wrath to maximum, and even allows her to perform some interesting setups with jumping crossups. Since Influence still does respectable damage and Wrath is so important to Hisako's game, this is likely to be the ender Hisako players use the most. On Ryo Zan is her Wall Splat ender, and like most characters with command grabs, she gets extra guaranteed damage by landing a grab after the wall splat completes, regardless of the KV. If you spend a stock of shadow meter on shadow Influence after the wall splat, you can add an extra 4% compared to regular Influence and you will be able to take advantage of the Wrath regeneration as well.
Hisako doesn't get to perform too many juggles, but she does have the ability to perform recapture and flipout. Using Air On Ryo Zan to recapture is great if your opponent is trying to jump away from Hisako's mixups, but you need full Wrath for the regular version to recapture, or else it will just cause a knockdown. Hisako's primary anti-air move, crouching HP, will launch the opponent, which gives her a few different options. If you had full Wrath, the launch is much higher than normal and you can jump and use shadow Air On Ryo Zan to recapture. If you're looking for a reset instead, you can jump after the launched opponent and use jumping LP to flip them out, then land and do a command grab mixup. If you don't have full Wrath, you will still have enough time to use standing LP to cause flipout. Importantly, because crouching HP is not an opener, in these situations the flipout and recapture will not be breakable!
Because every medium and heavy normal is a counter-hit with full Wrath, when Hisako is in instinct, she gets access to certain "freestyle" combos where she can string together numerous counter-hit/stagger normals mixed in with Air On Ryo Zans. Starting on the third hit, these combos are breakable using manual rules, but the damage and ender level add up really fast and mixing in other attack timings can make these combos difficult to break. These combos can easily be started by certain counter-hit setups in the neutral game, a close-range air On Ryo Zan mixup, a Vengeance counter against a long-range or aerial opponent, or her crouching HP anti-air attack.
Air On Ryo Zan is best performed using a tiger knee motion, keeping her close to the ground. Air On Ryo Zan is safe on block and the heavy version can cross up, making it a very strong close range pressure tool that beats lows and throws and forces opponents to respect a left-right mixup from the ground, but it only leads to a combo if you have full Wrath, so it becomes less effective if even just one of them is blocked.
Hisako has two command grabs. Influence is a very close-range, throw invincible grab that causes a hard knockdown. If you have full Wrath, it acts as an opener and feels very similar in application to SFIV Makoto's Karakusa. Light Influence is the fastest grab in the game at 3 frames, which is faster than any normal attack and ties for the fastest special move in the game, and it's exceptional as a surprise attack after Hisako's incredibly fast forward dash. Unfortunately, its range is so short that it will whiff unless you are as close as possible, which limits its uses in tick throw scenarios. Medium or heavy Influence are best used if you are trying to tick off light attacks or if you can't get close enough, but these grabs are slower at 7 and 10 frames respectively. Shadow Influence is 6 frames of startup and 0 frames (and therefore inescapable) after the freeze, and Hisako crawls towards her opponent to extend her range substantially, so it can be used in situations similar to Thunder's shadow Call of the Earth grab. Opponents need to be very wary of this move from around two Hisako dash lengths away; doing one dash and shadow Influence is virtually unreactable, so you will need to take pre-emptive measures to avoid it.
Her other command grab is Possession, a move that vacuums the opponent towards Hisako, where she enters the opponent's body and breaks their bones before causing a soft knockdown. This move is interruptible with attacks and is heavily punished by neutral jumping on reaction to Hisako's vacuum effect, but can be used as a much longer range tick grab, as a trip guard punish, and is effective against characters who need to use floaty jumps to escape. Note that Possession is Vengeance cancelable if you have 50% wrath, even extremely late in the animation, so not every jumping attack is a guaranteed punish.
It's possible to play Hisako disregarding her Wrath meter, but it's definitely ill-advised, as you will lose access to meaningful damage from her best mixups (Influence and air On Ryo Zan), and you will not be able to cancel moves into Vengeance counters at opportune times. Even the threat of sitting on full Wrath will make your opponent nervous to punish certain things, and you may escape some situations for free without having to take the risk. If you are struggling to keep your Wrath high, you will need to pick and choose more carefully when to use Hisako's beastly normals, or try to land an Influence command grab (as a combo ender or in neutral) to earn a hard knockdown and regenerate your Wrath by sitting still. Otherwise, Hisako is best played as a patient character that threatens in surprising bursts of activity; dashing in with Influence, shadow Influence, or air On Ryo Zan, and pestering with long-range normals into grounded On Ryo Zan mixups will force opponents to pick and choose when to try and stop Hisako's approaches without running into Vengeance. Hisako, like her character suggests, is all about making your opponent scared to press buttons, and she has more than ample tools to keep people spooked, both inside and outside the game.