Air-Fireball Thread

Ok so I can’t find any indepth explanation for this move anywhere outside the obvious “use it on a waking up opponant” or “try to make them jump” comments, and I wanted some more concrete information on the proper ways to zone with this move vs different characters.

One of the major questions I have about this move is how to properly use it to bait you’re opponant into jumping (possibly mixing up different hights of AFBs of different strength), so that you have plenty of time to recover and retaliate with an SA1 or srkxxSA1.

I want to know if it’s possible to create a semi lock down with this move (kinda like an air version of Remy’s LOV’s), so that you can leave a slight pause to bait your opponant to jump, similar to how Yuns leave a pause to bait a low tech during Genei-jin strings, or the old school FB traps in ST.

Also I wanted to know if it’s possible to use the AFB safely against things like Kens air ex tatsu, Makoto’s low as fuck dash, Chuns SA2, and Dudleys command dash which are all character spacific methods of coutering Gouki’s who spam the AFB.

Basically this thread was inspired by the fact that I can’t recall a time when Match was punished for using an AFB and I wanted to see if he had any greater understanding of how to control you’re opponant’s options with this move.

I’m aware that there is no true “lockdown” with the AFB (even Hugos can parry it) but I’m sure there must be a way to encourage you’re opponant to either jump or attempt to change positioning with the AFB which could possibly help move them into the corner.

If people want to add there own thoughts and methodologies of how they use the AFB it would be much appreciated, because the Remy players have gone well indepth about the LOV’s with much success and I believe we should give the AFB the same level of attention.

Ken’s air EX hurricane is a confusing thing, and it’s best NOT to try to beat it out with anything except a shoryuken. Anything you do in the air might counter it… or it might not. I’ve had all sorts of weird things happen, because it’s all based on height. I think what it comes down to is that if you’re above Ken’s legs, anything you do works. If you’re below Ken’s legs, anything you do doesn’t work. Essentially, it’s just not wise to attempt to beat an air EX tatsu air-to-air , unless you’re planning on parrying it, then countering… but even the possibility of punishment is questionable. Over all, I wouldn’t consider it a direct counter to the air fireball… you just need to make sure you are positioned, and your jump is directed in such a way that leaves you NOT in line to be hit by the tatsu. Once the fireball comes out, you’re in good shape and pretty well protected , though.

Makoto’s low dash definitely is a serious threat. That’s why whenever you shoot fireballs, you should probably be leading the fireball so it’s a bit in front of Makoto so she dashes into it instead of under it. It’s a bad idea to use fireballs when you’re too close to her. Makoto is so mobile, she’s difficult to zone with air fireballs as it is. I find it best to stick to a strong ground game with demon flips in the corner only (since she can easily beat demon flips mid-screen) without the use of many air fireballs, period.

I’ve never had a Chun-Li counter my air fireballs with a super. That’s probably because I don’t really shoot them off randomly in the match. For the most part, I use fireballs to stuff things that she’s doing or to jump in, late fireball > pressure. I don’t even know the circumstances where she COULD counter the air fireball, really. I guess the only way she could do it would be if you shot the fireball at her feet, and you were positioned far enough away that she’d super through it and hit you. But really, if you’re throwing air fireballs, you’re probably really far away, or right in her face (where if you shoot a fireball and she supers through it, she’ll probably end going under you, or just hitting you out of the air for no damage), so I don’t see how it’s even a worry.

I think it’s essentially the same story with Dudley. Just make sure you’re aiming the fireball in such a way that doesn’t let him get under it and hit you. He doesn’t really counter air fireballs that well either.

The thing is, like everything else, you have to read your opponent’s reactions and mix up accordingly, and hopefully condition them to do what you’d like them to do in response to the air fireball. For example, say you jump in, throw an air fireball, and dash in. They could either parry the fireball or block it. If they parry the fireball, they can attack with a move fast enough to hit you through your dash. Therefore, you could next time, after the fireball, do a far fierce or a c.MK, which will stuff whatever they tried to do after they parried the fireball (and the latter will lead into big enough damage to make them think twice about doing the same thing again). Then, just keep making adjustments after that based on what they do. The fact is, the air fireball puts YOU at an EXTREME advantage. You just need to think while using it and it will always work out for you. Japanese players know this when facing Akuma, and you see it reflected in their gameplay, because most of the time they’ll just block, which is probably the smartest thing to do, since the block stun prevents you from being thrown right away and blocking low negates most other damage Akuma could do. They know that there is much more risk involved with doing anything other than that, because of the incredible range of mixup options Akuma has from the fireball.

The reason any player gets away with anything is that he is mixing it up and making sure their opponent is too afraid of them and their unpredictability to try to counter their strategy in a way that might be too risky to them. Akuma plays that style of mind game better than anybody. Once he takes control, he places the opponent in one high risk situation after another until he gets the damage he wants.

Just for kicks, I’ll throw in my basic mindset when I’m pressuring with air fireballs. I consider my air fireball mixup to have two different levels to mix up on. I can mixup at range, or I can mix up right in your face. This means that after I shoot the fireball, I have a choice. I can dash in and pressure, or I can stand back and use longer range pokes. Both are equally dangerous, so you just have to choose what’s best for your opponent.

As I said above, if your opponent parries and tries to counter a dash in, it’s best to stick with an at range mixup to stuff their escape attempt. Usually after doing the ranged mixup for awhile, your opponent will get the hint and stop trying to attack after an air fireball, allowing you to go into the dash in mixup.

With the dash in mixup, I look at how the opponent reacts to the fireball again. If they parry it, then block, I could just dash in and throw right away, because they have no throw-protection after parrying. I could also just do a standard physical mixup from there. Usually if they just block the fireball flat out, I’ll just do a physical mixup of some sort.

Also, don’t forget that characters with shoryukens like to parry the fireball into shoryuken, which beats EVERYTHING, so if you see that coming, just block.

The last point I want to make is that you also have to understand that an air fireball isn’t the end all of jump ins. You have to mix up all of your other options from the air also, because if your opponent thinks you’re gonna throw an air fireball, he might just jump right up and kick you in the face during the startup of the fireball. So once again… don’t get too predictable and be ready to parry in the air if need be.

In conclusion, like every other aspect of 3S, you have to change everything you do based on how your opponent responds to you. There is no set way to zone or lock down with an air fireball, and you have to use it differently against everybody to get the control you want.

It’s pretty hard to stay safe. The only time it’s really good to throw one is after you knock them down. Other than that, most if not all characters have a way to hurt you by either trading with it, hitting you before you release it, or going under/through it while you’re still airborne.

Eh, I’ve always found learning good, safe air fireball zoning and control was one of the most intuitive skills for Akuma players. The safety provided by air fireballs has sort of handicapped my game with any other character because I’ve never felt the need to option parry when I jump with Akuma. Most of the time it just gives me free movement save for getting out of the corner. I need to read some of the stuff Therapist wrote. Looks like solid info :tup:

why do some ppl AFB so late?

Think its because the lower the aim, the less of a chance your opponent has to dash under and counter. That and the follow up after the afb.

Yeah, they can’t dash under it and you have enough time to recover from the jump to counter whatever they’re gonna do after blocking/parrying the fireball.

so when, if ever, is it a good idea to do an early air fireball?

vs Hugo while jumping back

vs. anybody while jumping back, if they’re on the ground, it’ll cover your escape and shut down attempts to jump towards you.

So, so wrong. Dudley can Duck through it. Chun Can super through it, or parry, super. A lot of characters can dash through it. Not safe…at all.

You’re talking about a situation where you’re point blank, then jump back air fireball. The real question here is… why are you jumping back and shooting an air fireball when you’re point blank? Kick some ass on the ground.

And back to Chun countering an air fireball with SA2… go into training mode and try countering a fireball with SA2. You’ll notice that you have to be at the PERFECT RANGE for it. You can’t just universally counter the air fireball with Chun’s SA2 from wherever you want.

Therapist I love your sig

I used to use Akuma back in the day, so I remembered a bit about airfireballs. I noticed that the three actually travel at different speeds so you could actually do a lot with them. Ie: Back throw -> super jump towards enemy -> at the peak do an mp. air fireball -> land and dashup. This one only works if they dont quick roll I believe. What happens is you fly over to them and throw the fireball. The speed of the fireball causes it to hit RIGHT as the ball is between existing and dematerializing, so it kind of fakes them out and they’ll get hit. If they do you get a free c. mk -> w/e else you want.

Also vs chars that dont have srk’s u can do a fireball late in the arc that doesn’t come out BUT akuma says “Gou Zankuu!”. Its a specific distance and might take a little practice, but its not that hard. You can use that for fakeouts similar to the previous one.

Hope that’s useful.

Don’t forget about Q…epscially with SAI:tup:

I have discovered that while jumping forward or back if you do an air hadou right before you hit the ground (about shoulder level) he does the hadou animation and will sometimes even say “suhn-dungu” or whatever he says but no fireball comes out. Its very similar to doing normal moves very late when approaching the ground. Where some of the frames come out but nothing happens. This is much long and many more frames though it seems. This is much long and many more frames and sound effects.

I was just wondering if this is useful to fake a hadou when landing close and maybe go to a throw? Or is it just better to throw the hadou ? Does it extend his throw range? or is it worthless?

edit- if you actually hit them with an air hadou (blocked or not) when you land you whiff throw. So am I right is this useful?

it seems pretty hard to do i just tried it like 50 times and pulled it off twice.

an easy way to throw the air hadou is to jump (in desired direction) and immediately hold down, now whenever you are ready to throw (or fake) the fireball do the rest of the normal hadou motions.

Has anyone discovered this yet?

edit2- I don’t think it extends the throw range at all. But I have been able to do it more and it looks cool if anything.

it seems that he only makes the sound effect when you do it at the highest possible frame(s?) between a hadou coming out and not.

Yes. Not super useful since it leaves you wide open for AA’s. The amount of time you have to wait to make sure the fireball doesn’t come out is so long that your opponent will have decided you aren’t throwing one so its not a risk if they AA you. Can work as a demon setup from time to time.