Applying pressure without eating reversal sandwiches all day?

Hey newbie thread, just wanted to pick the brains of the grizzled vets for a bit and get your two cents.

I know applying pressure, especially after earning a knockdown, is key for most characters to press the advantage and win. I’m a sagat player, so we live and breathe by the meaty cr. lk (+3 on block, +6 on hit) and the options it opens up when earning a knockdown.

Against char with weak wakeup (cody, etc), i get the knockdown in the corner especially, and its a wrap.
However, against ryu’s and kens, I end up getting psyched out. It seems like when I go for a meaty on wakeup, I eat an srk. If i crouch block close fishing for the reversal punish, I get thrown.

Even with char with a good ex wakeup option (chun ex sbk, honda ex headbutt), I don’t really know what to do. Every time i try and bait it out, i get reversaled if i go for a late meaty, or they sit on the ex bar and just throw. I certainly don’t want to back up and just give em another chance, holding my ability to apply pressure on if they decide to use the ex meter somewhere else in the round.

Any thoughts on applying good knockdown pressure on a character with a strong reversal? Thanks!

keeping them at the corner while maintaining a good distance with fireballs + Tiger Knee/ SRK?

I usually find myself doing that at times. Knock them down in the corner and then as they are getting up throw slow fireball at them so they have to block it and wait for the jump to punish it.

I dunno, im a complete scrub with the fire ball characters :stuck_out_tongue:

practice with me ill get you being able to punish those easy :smiley:

Part of the pressure game is spacing. When you have the opponent on the floor you control the spacing within that time window. I would suggest you change your spacing to help counter wake up reversals. Good spacing can allow for normals to counter wake up reversals. This of course will vary from character and your experience with them, but it sounds like this is what you need some work on.

it’s not so much the character but the player that is prone to reversals. you have to test your opponent to find out how willing they are to random DP. if they dp through your first block string you can usually expect them to be mashing DP often. Granted there is a high level mind game in there where some might risk a random DP early in order to make you afraid to pressure later but, that’s some really high level mindgames you’re not likely seeing at this state.

my best advice would be to find out where throw range is and stand right out side of it while they’re knocked down and whiff a jab or 2 before they wake up. if they wake up throw they’re going to whiff and you can punish that. if they wake up DP and they whiff or you block the same will happen.

however as a sagat player myself my even better recommedation is to not even bother with it at all. zone out and fireball till the cows come home(if the character is the kind you can do this against) don’t take risks you don’t have to. Even though sagat can rush down he is still a strong zoning character and his focus should be on getting the life lead then keeping it and improving it by making the other guy make mistakes.

Safe jump.

You also must play a little mind games trying to look like that you arent going to do a meaty by keeping a long distance from your opponent or the opposite, that is doing a jump in that will land just before the opponent wakes, dashing in or poking close to him and then blocking so you bait the reversal, punish him and next time he will afraid of using a wake up reversal and you will be free to guess if he is going to jump, backdash or block.

If you dash from one side to the screen to the other, be sure that your opponent will be ready for a reversal but if you move back or backdash, the opponent will think you are chickening and will not try a reversal unless is really stupid or you have done it before.

Although it is quite important, Sagat doesn’t really need wakeup pressure that much. He thrives on zoning and punishment. In any case, what many good players do is vary their wakeup pressure between 1 or 2 frames before or after wakeup. Several frames after wakeup beats reversals, and several frames before beats wakeup pokes and tech throw attempts. It’s actually an extension of a more general offensive tactic that revolves around giving your opponent as little as possible time to decide on how to react. It’s not that effective against weaker players because they tend to decide long before they wakeup whether or not they’re going to perform a reversal. Good players though will try to wait till the very last moment to decide whether or not to block, reversal, crouch tech OS, jump, backdash. Probably the most widely used application of this tactic is the empty safe-jump into low.

Another way of doing something like this is to use an attack that can only be countered if the opponent does a reversal after it’s started up. eg. A character with a Focus Attack than has lots of range can do it outside your reversal range right before you wakeup. If you reversal, it will whiff and they can punish. If you don’t, you have to choose between blocking, jumping, poking, backdashing or a FA chicken game. 4 of these can lose to the FA, and one can be punished with opponent dashes forward out of the FA before it activates. Sagat’s FA isn’t that threatening on wakeup because of it’s low range, but he can do something similar with his Tiger Knees and Tiger Shots because they can hit some opponents from outside their reversal range.

It’s worth noting that there’s no easy answer here. It’s a guessing game, no matter what. You pressure, they may reversal. If you don’t pressure, they might escape. What’s important is that, generally, when you knock your opponent down, you have a lot less risk and a lot more reward involved. That’s the idea.

“10% is what happens, 90% is how you react to it.”

Every second that passes on the timer you see how the other person plays, you learn, you adapt.

Thanks for the two cents, this makes a lot of sense, I’m gonna experiment and figure out what works to help develop my game!!!

Just keep in mind, it’s not that complicated. In fact even I tend to over complicate it sometimes when I try not to. All you need to knows is that there is a reason for everything, you should simply picture the game as two objects.

All you need to learn to do is bait people you haven’t played before. You can get an idea of how they’ll act in the first few times you knock them down, so just apply completely safe pressure and see what they do. Whiff an attack or just walk in and out of range. If they reversal, punish them until they stop, and then begin to use meaty pressure.

^^^^^^ good stuff, REALLY gotta implement this!!!

Thanks for the two cents everyone, I really appreciate people answering questions that might get trolled in other threads.

One good way is to “train” your opponent to not do wake up SRKs. Do a safe jump (jump in early on purpose, and then block as soon as you land) This will make their SRK whiff (or youll block it) , and you’ll get a free punish. Once they see that you’re expecting the wake SRK, theyre all yours (sorta)