Just want to shed a bit of light on Vega and Sim match-ups.
I’ve only been using Adon for about a week now. I’ve used only Ken since day one of SFIV, and I’m not even a hardcore fighting gamer, but so far, I’ve done decent when it comes to competition.
Basically, when it comes to Vega and Sim, play the counter-aggressor. It’s the same tactic I use when I play Ken. I’m typically (9 out of 10 times) a pure rush down that mixes pokes, focus, bait, and punishment, which I dubbed “Poke and Punish”, or P&P. When it comes to advanced or skilled opponents, I can’t really do that. They are more level-headed so they don’t get flustered at the barrage, and they read a little better so they can stop any punishment opportunities. So, when I’m in a situation like this, I’ll mostly rely on this tactic in the latter portion of round 2 and 3. I fill the rest of the match with being the counter-aggressor. Conversely when it comes to facing Vega and Sim when using Adon.
It’s true that Vega has wall techniques and chances are you’ll be flying over each others head a lot. However, that’s not the way to go when being the counter-aggressor. Now you don’t have to rely on being defensive, which I really don’t think it’s the way to go against Vega at all (though I’m only speaking when using aggressive-capable fighters). If you see a wall technique coming up, I noticed that it is frequently the one where Vega reaches overhead and does the slash-swipe,(sorry for not knowing the names. I’m serious, I only played Ken, and just now Adon, so I really don’t know anything of other fighters) I counter this with a FADC after absorbing the slash-swipe blow. Forward or Backwards is purely up to you, both are safe, but forward (or whichever takes you closer to Vega) tends to have more punishment opportunities because you’re closer, of course. This should be already in your arsenal against Vega, and a good way to integrate this into the counter-aggressor theme is by baiting him to frequently chase you with it (and you’ll be surprised how many Vega’s rely on that move and not the drill-like one, or the suplex grab). Do poke combos (block strings work too) or achieve an untechable knockdown. Before wake-up, LKTooth which will bait them to wall-technique chase you, and 6/10 times it will be the overhead claw strike. Of course, don’t overly rely on this because some of them just jump back to their corner and what not, especially ones who’ve been punished by it a few times. Other than that, only use specials during poke combos (HKJK good at finishing combo/block strings because frame advantage) or clearly open punishment. Keep the heat, but aim for your hits to be blocked because it really baits them to do a slide or the backflip kick which are punishable with just about anything that isn’t intensive. HP -> HKRJ will do for backflip kick, and substitute HP for LK -> HKRJ or LP -> LK -> L/M/HKRJ. This is the essence of counter-aggressive play. Create heat, make them think they have something to punish (especially Vegas), then punish their follow up. Of course, there are countless ways of doing this, which I religiously use, but it’s like a work of art more than science, and it’s easier by just doing in then saying it. What I can offer is mixing this tactic with FADC baits before wake up, empty jump ins and outs before wake up (especially if you’ve been utilizing MKCrossup, which is pretty safe if used appropriately), and various levels of JTooth (consistent empty ones confuse them). Not to echo, but to expand, this is the role of counter-aggression. Aggressive, but aim to be blocked most of the time, and force them to be aggressive and counter their aggressiveness because you already see it coming. As far as punishing with anti-airs, I’m not all to positive. With Ken, good-ol’-faithful Ultra 1 did very nicely against anything, especially Vega’s Ultra I (or any Ultra for that matter), which, by using these tactics, a very easy set-up. Not sure how Adon’s Ultra II will fare, but it’s worth a shot.
–After applying pressure and gaining a knockdown (techable or not), dash up (if you have time) before wake up and then immediately do HKJT. More times than not, they’ll try a grab or poke of some sort, which 9/10 you’ll get the hit. If blocked, you get a free grab, or you can simply neutral jump MK into a poke combo if you know any, or a RJ.
—Pay attention to Vega’s pattern and fit in as many MKCrossups you can. They enable good combo opportunities, which might inevitably end with a knockdown (which really sets Vega’s off balanced, especially if you try to screw up their charge by switching sides), and will ultimately keep them on their toes because they’ll get the impression you’re going to be aggressive from there. Of course, you won’t, go back to counter-aggression.
----Chase Vega’s handsprings if you’re close. From there it’s extremely variable. I’m not sure to recommend this because you have to be a fairly good reader to use this properly. Following the handspring is risky because there is so many options for Vega which makes it harder for you to decide exactly what to do. I don’t really have a problem if I found a pattern. So look for a pattern and try to counter it. But remember, escape after it, or sometimes, come right back somehow (most likely a HKJT, which I dub this tactic as Boomerangin’). My usual routes are a crHK (among many other options) if they are grab-heavy, a MKCrossup, or block then punish if it’s a backflip kick. If they use a wall technique, either chase for pressure (but you have to be a good reader and creative for an effective follow up) or return to the standard tactics. Lastly, don’t follow if the Vega is crPoke-heavy. His crPokes are very long and hard to punish, and to escape, once in them. If you can counter them, or if they normally poke once (Focus here if so), then be confident and do so.
-----CAUTION: I’m not sure if it’s all forms, or just one, or some, but a RJ is stuffed by throw if close enough. Everyone probably knows that, but just reemphasizing.
You can utilize the same tactics on Sim, but not as freely. This one you really have to rely on being defensive, whilst being the counter-aggressor. In this match-up, I’ll rely on counter-aggression in the latter portion of a round, especially if I’m far ahead in health. I fill the rest of the match by being very defensive. Get far. Constantly neutral jump. Do a lot of repeat LKJT from far away. Sneak in a HK/EXJT which will hit if you’re smart when using it. All this will inevitably make Sim become the aggressor, just what we want. Then, cleverly, become the counter-aggressor to whatever he attempts. Most of the time he’ll try to fluster you with empty-gain teleports, then sneak with a teleport that gets him close to do what he’s planning, but you already know what he’s going to do (or hopefully you do haha) and counter it. Most of the time it’s a poke, stretch poke, yoga fire, or slide. Be smart with your focus attacks during this phase, they aren’t expecting sudden aggressiveness so they won’t properly stop it most of the time. Also, grab as much as you can. Even if it lands in techs, it will fluster the Sim. Constantly mimicking Sim will either cancel out (which will give you the chance to be counter-aggressive afterward if you’re creative), a trade in your favor, or punishment in your favor. So basically, be counter-aggressive and mimic are the general themes here. Lastly, during this phase of Sim being the aggressor, don’t be scared to poke. Use Adon’s good pokes (MP, MK, HK, HP, crMK, crHK [mainly good in this situation only]) then get the hell out of there. You can LKJT, back jump, or if you’re ballsy (which is good once in a while), nJumpMK -> throw, or just throw. Basically, make sure the poke combo is short and you quickly find a way out of being punished, because you will if it gets too long or you turtle poking distance from Sim. This isn’t foolproof, but it’s more or less a good template for fighting Sim with Adon, and should be a basis for your tactics. I think the best way to see its effectiveness is seeing a replay of mines against Sim.
–Be cautious. Very, very cautious.
—Always stay at least screen distance and away from any attacks. The only trouble you’ll get is mostly a well placed yoga fire. Other than that, Sim will get impatient and close-in. That should be the only time you can be close. But get far away again shortly after.
----STAY FAR AWAY ! ! !
-----The key to mimicking Sim, grab a lot. Chances are you’ll grab when he does, because Sim relies on it. If you get good at this, you’ll be landing more grabs then him. A well placed crossup almost guarantees this. Also, mix up nThrow with bThrow. Really throws them off, and gets you back at being a far distance.
------FEAR THE KNEE ! ! !
-------If you use this tactic effectively, you’ll most likely never get hit by Sim’s Ultra II, which really isn’t his best, so punish Sim for using it. 8D
---------BE CAUTIOUS ! ! !
So in summary, a common issue presents itself when facing a good Vega and Sim: You won’t be able to be a pure rush down or aggressive Adon. Which is fine. They’re expecting you to be that way. Force them out of this comfort way of thinking and be the counter-aggressor. Applying short bursts of aggression, in unison with proper follow ups. Probably won’t ensure a win 100% of the time, but will get you to round three, or possibly even the stakes more or less, that is if you’re having trouble with these match-ups. I don’t have much trouble against Vega as I do Dhalsim. I mainly only rely on these tactics when I do though, and that was the basis of my tips. All in all, it isn’t completely terrible match-ups, but things do seem to get rather clumsy when they come to be. Hope this helps.