Back to SSF4 after a two year break


Hey all. Glad to see the community is still going strong. I’m writing this post because this week I upgraded my SSF4 to Arcade Edition and started playing again for the first time in over two years. On opening my replay channel I saw my last online match was in late 2011. Since then I got married, moved houses, and got my fight stick back out of storage. All that stuff put a damper on my gaming habits.

I’m mostly wondering how to get back into the game. I was never an awesome player, but when I left I mained Vega(Claw) and had a winrate of 55% or so. I remembered how to do his moves (muscle memory is cool), but how to use them and when to combo was completely lost on me.

Played 10 matches online last night and only won two of them. There were a few really good players that just bodied me, and I’m fine with that. That’s how you learn. What really frustrates me is losing to the mashing scrubs. I used to be able to punish the mashers pretty good, but last night I lost to several that I normally used to beat. I had no wake-up game. I had no pressure game. The scrubs would start mashing on knockdown and I was powerless to stop it. They were all Ryu, btw. Out of 10 matches I fought a Ryu five times. He must have gotten a buff with the last AE update or something.

Anyhow, what can I do to get my old groove back? Offline training? Or is there a group on here that runs some endless match sessions? Any help is welcome, and despite my frustrations it’s good to be back.


Don’t worry, the punish reflexe will come back fast. If the mashers are your problem just let them mash from time to time and punish the flying DP. Once you do that a couple of times they usually stop to mash, at that point you can mix them up with Kara throw etc.

You should check the change list since super, a lot of things changed… and I mean A LOT. And yeah, Ryu is quit popular even tho he isn’t incredibly strong, but he is a versatile character.
Also, if you play online and find some good players get on the mic and ask them what’s goin’ on when you don’t know how to block things ; The game has evolved in a set up feast, a lot of things are either unblockable or fake cross up and shit.

Other than that, if you used to play at a “decent” level - good enough to body mashers etc - things will come back fast enough ;).


“Mashers” - people tend to get frustrated by this shit a lot. You have to understand first of all what you can punish on whiff / block, and what you can’t. Sometimes it is possible frame wise, but you can’t react to it fast enough. That’s fine, you just need to learn to back off until you can see it coming better. It’s better to let it slide instead of go for it too late and eat shit because of it. A lot of people say they know how to punish, but there are literally thousands of situations and not even the best players knows every single one down to the pixel (example moves become more/less safe i.e. spiral arrow depending on the spacing) most good players DO know what “looks” punishable / not. Keep in mind every move has a different amount of hit/block stun as well and you need to change your timing depending on when your character exits this state.

to bring this all back home, i’ll give you a solid example. someone who mashes lp DP from a reasonable distance away. you stick out your far normal, boom you just got hit by the 2nd one. What would I do? Let thme build that miniscule amount of meter and wait for the next one (the better your reactions get the better you can snag these) you can almost guarantee the next time he throws out a random lp DP he will do a 2nd one to try and bait you a second time. now you’ve just conditioned him to stop that bullshit. this is actually not even a scrubby tactic at all despite what people will tell you. Smug (best dudley) will whiff DPs all the time against me to build meter because he knows how hard it is for me to chase it down.

When to Combo:

First of all, forget about complicated combos. take that shit right out the window. Figure out every single thing you can do first try without thinking and add this to your personal “arsenal”. this includes single button presses and making a mental note about how fast and how far they reach, right down to your ultras.

Now you have your arsenal built, you can determine whne and where to use these.

so the most obvious is a whiffed ultra / HP DP / EX tatsu from goken where you have all day to react and input whatever you want. Keep it simple - if you have ultra stocked, use it. If not, you should have something hopefully starting with a jump in if you have time to get that little bit of extra damage. Typically with Guile, I will just do cr MP flashkick and throw the jump-in in if I have time. like i said - keep it simple. the extra 10 points of damage is not worth dropping the combo.

advanced punishes : example Honda’s headbutt. It is -10 frames with a medium headbutt, but it bounces him back soo far. all you can snag him with is a cr MP. however, you can combo into an ex sky high off a cr MP, so if you have the meter, get that damage! you will find many situations like this where maybe all you can get is 1 hitters, but you can’t leave free damage like that on the table. understanding all your standard blocked punishes is super important.

next you need a light confirm. you will find yourself in situations where you are crouch teching or maybe you just scored a jump in but you arnet sure if they can block in time or not. you will need some variety in these normally as well. with Guile, I have charge and no charge situations, just like Vega. so my no charge situation is (ideal to start with a low because it forces them to block crouching, extra chance to hit) cr lk, cr lp, st lp, st HP. some nice damage, and a safe block string. if I have charge, then I will do something like cr lk, cr lp, cr mp xx flash kick. or if I am not entirely confident I will hit the link, then I will switch flash kick with a boom (or just had no down charge)

on top of that, you need to be able to mix up to get even more damage. slight delays in your block strings to catch them pressing crouch tech (frame traps) are important, but only if you have conditioned them to eating throws. Vega really excells in this because he has an excellent kara throw so he gets many ticks before he needs to commit to the string ender (throw or trap) using buttons specific to beating this is huge (Vega can mix in his overhead, Guile has the upside down kick)

The rest of your game will mostly come from pokes, kara throws, and possibly a few gimmicks /shennanigans (most of the best Vegas just play solid footsies though because of his sick range and fast pokes, fast walkspeed, great jump speed + jump arc and dont want to risk the unsafe stuff) so vega actually does not really rely on combos as much as some of the other characters, he relies actually much more on the setups that come off the block strings.

Hope this helps and anyone can feel free to correct me or add in more information where necessary!