This topic keeps coming up and people really don’t have an idea of what they should be doing on knockdowns, and I think Blanka’s setplay is not only very strong, but it’s really easy and efficient if you know whats up.
The last two discussions I’ve been trying not to chime in too hard because I don’t want to dominate conversations, but this is easily the strongest part of my game.
The format for this will be the listed knockdown in bold, a subsection in spoiler tags with each setup I know and my notes on that setup. Listed setups will not include the move that causes the knockdown because that is assumed under the section, saves me a little bit of typing.
Note: Cammy and Sagat wakeup 1 frame slower than the rest of the cast, Blanka wakes up 2 frames slower. This is important in understanding why certain setups do not work on them.
Forward throw setups are stronger against characters who you cannot unblockable or do strong ambiguous back throw stuff against. It’s a strong tool to setup safejumps and is that it allows you to keep your opponent in front of you which is ideal in the corner. The strongest asset of f.throw is that it allows you to keep your opponent where you want them, which is ideal if you need to position them in the corner, or get yourself out of the corner.
note: a ‘wiggle’ is basically walking back and forth
4 frame safejump(Does not work on Cammy/Sagat/Blanka)
f.dash, f.hop, j.mk - Can be a little tricky for your opponent as it looks like you can reversal it, but you can’t.
f.dash, f.hop, nj.hk - Very strong if you f.throw your opponent while you are in the corner, lets you switch sides and put them in a large amount of blockstun.
f.hop, f.dash, nj.hk - this setup maximizes hitstun/blockstun while keeping you on the same side as your opponent
5 frame safejump(Does not work on Blanka)
mp horizontal ball, j.hk - This setup has a lot of strengths. Firstly it lets you switch sides with your opponent. Secondly it’s a little tricky looking with the screen shift. Thirdly you build meter from whiffing the ball, and building meter = good.
Character specific - works on Juri, Ibuki, Makoto, Rufus, Dictator, Fuerte(no u2), Ken strong/ex dp
nj, j.hk - The biggest benefit of this setup is that it is impossible to mess up as it requires no timing whatsoever. Hold up, then hold upforward.
f.dash, f.dash, nj.hk
Note: these setups sometimes have issues on the characters that get up late where you will not get both hits of the overhead and some skinnier characters like Ibuki, Sakura, Yun, Yang, etc. where you will dash over them. I’ll update this with a full list of dash over characters soon, I am forgetting them atm.
lp horizontal ball, dash/hop, overhead - It’s an overhead setup that lets you get lots of charge because of the dash, it builds meter because of the whiffed ball, and due to spacing quirks it will trade with a lot of reversals, making it somewhat low risk. Character specific ideal followups will be in the next post, I’m still testing, sorry!
lp horizontal ball, dash/hop, whiff rockcrusher, cr.lk/mk - This setup looks very ‘goofy’ for lack of a better term, but once you’ve established that Blanka does indeed have an overhead, why not fake it and go low? Very underrated.
lp horizontall ball, wiggle, overhead- Same as the other overhead setup, but it makes it look a little more ambiguous as to what you are doing, and you can go for other stuff. The drawback to this is it requires more manual timing. A big benefit however is that it works on the characters you would normally dash over.
lp horizontal ball, wiggle, whiff rock crusher, cr.lk/mk
These setups are useful for characters you would dash over
cr.lk/far.lp, f.jump, overhead
f.jump, cr.lk, overhead
cr.lk/far.lp, f.jump, whiff rock crusher, cr.lk
f.jump, cr.lk, whiff rock crusher, cr.lk
hold charge, wiggle, u1 - MIZOTERU BOMBER. One of Blanka’s oldest mixups, and while it is not as potent now as it was in Vanilla, it still does a large amount of damage and chip. Can hit on either side, does massive damage/chip, and on crossup some characters really struggle to get a good punish. If spaced correctly it will also make reversals whiff back into the ultra causing it to be inescapable by most of the cast. The drawback? If blocked there is a good chance you are at minimum eating an ultra back, and possibly more. This is best used if the chip is a guaranteed kill, or you are massively behind and need the damage to win and it’s your only shot.
lp ball, step back, j.mk/hp/hk - This setup is really underutilized by Blanka players. If practiced, not only can you make reversals whiff, but sometimes the jumpin will be a crossup, a fake crossup, or an unblockable, whats not to love? This is really essential against dp characters like Ryu and Ken because they can’t normally be safejumped, so having a setup that makes dp whiff, and is hard to block is a huge bonus to you.
hk upball, hp electricity - corner only setup, this really isn’t very strong, but if the electricity will chip out if mashed, and your opponent can’t reversal out, it’s a pretty good option. Depending on the character and when you upball, the electricity can hit either side. Use sparingly.
mp ball, walk forward, hop, cr.lk/cr.mk xx electricity - you can substitute raw electricity if you aren’t too solid with the cr.lk cancel, but you lose damage and the fact that you are hitting low. This setup is pretty strong as it is hard to ascertain what side Blanka will be on, which makes it very strong vs. characters with minimal/non existent reversal options. It doesn’t lead to the most potential damage, and people will try to mash out of it, but overall it’s pretty solid
walk forward, whiff lp ball, electricity - corner setup. Have to time when to initiate the ball, but this is really hard to block if timed correctly.
dash, cr.mp, j.mk/hk - midscreen setup vs. Rufus. Unblockable, though j.hk is crouchable and whiffs at neutral. Credit to Insaynne for the new discovery.
On the surface backthrow looks worse than forward throw. It doesn’t leave you as at much advantage, it does less damage, and throwing your opponent out of the corner is never really that great, but it has one huge advantage in that it leads to his hardest to block mixups.
dash/hop, j.mk/lp/hp/hk - Blanka pretty much only has one backthrow mixup midscreen, but it’s a doozy. All of these buttons can crossup, fake crossup, or be unblockable depending on the character and the timing used. I’m still working on a chart with the new backthrow in AE2012, but for now it’s good to know this information;
b.throw, dash, j.mk is unblockable vs. Guile, Guy, Viper, Rufus, Fuerte, and Juri(hard)
b.throw, dash, j.hk is unblockable vs. Boxer though it is kind of tricky to do.
b.throw, dash, j.hp can hit on either side depending on timing vs. a lot of characters, but most notably Cammy and Cody
Blanka’s oki off of sweep isn’t as strong as what he gets after a throw, but still very potent.
Looking to combo into sweep off of counterhit st.mp/cr.mk will really open up the amount of mixups you get.
I personally prefer to manually time slower safejumps, but these setups work if you want to go for it.
cr.hk, st.jab, j.hk - works on 7+ frame reversals
cr.hk, cr.lk, j.hk - works on 7+ frame reversals
Meaty setups ending in cr.lk/cl.mp are +3 on block/+6 on hit, cr.mk is +3 on block/+5 on hit
While I no longer condone trying to link to sweep, the extra frame advantage on cr.lk makes linking to cr.mk very viable, and it also helps if you are trying to do lk x3 ultra as there is one less 1f link to worry about. Being +3 on block also helps your kara throw game.
The cool thing about these is that if you sweep from close enough, the whiff j.hk makes the followup look super ambiguous and you can end up on either side.
cr.hk, whiff j.hk, cr.lk (1) - Safe vs. fully invincible reversals that start up in 9 or more frames
cr.hk, whiff j.hk, cr.mk (1)
cr.hk, whiff j.hk, cl.mp (2)
For some reason people still have trouble with hop vs. dash. Do a safe meaty and trick your opponent with what side you will be on. This is very strong vs. characters like Dictator who are forced to block when you go for this allowing for more setups to land throws and to frame trap him. If you go for cr.lk you also get a lot of os options like sweep or slide. Very solid.
cr.hk, f.dash, f.dash, cr.lk (1) - Safe vs. fully invincible reversals that start up in 9 or more frames
cr.hk, f.dash, f.dash, cr.mk (1)
cr.hk, f.dash, f.dash, cl.mp (2)
cr.hk, f.dash, f.hop, cr.lk (2) - Safe vs. fully invincible reversals that start up in 10 or more frames
cr.hk, f.dash, f.hop, cr.mk (2)
cr.hk, f.dash, f.hop, cl.mp (3)
cr.hk, f.hop, f.hop, cr.lk (3) - Safe vs. fully invincible reversals that start up in 11 or more frames
cr.hk, f.hop, f.hop, cr.mk (3)
2=Sagat/Cammy, if tried against other characters(except Blanka) will give 1 less frame advantage
Very similar to the f.throw high/low options, those are actually based off of these.
dash/hop, overhead - easy peasy overhead setup, you want to delay the overhead a frame or two if you dashed, but overall it works without any crazy timing. Will trade with a lot of reversals, making it somewhat safe.
dash/hop, rockcrusher, cr.lk/mk/kara throw - fake overhead setup once again, but because you are a big farther away with a sweep setup you can also go for a kara throw. If you decide to just block after the rockcrusher you will block reversals, which makes it a good bait.
Blanka can actually get some followup pressure after midscreen electricity knockdowns. Nothing too hard to block, but forcing your opponent to do something never hurts right?
kara f.hop, cr.mk - Will beat crouch tech mashing, but thats about it. The biggest benefit here is that you can cancel the cr.mk to hop, which will keep you same side. A lot of what people to visually time hop punishes has to do with the point in which you crossup, since you don’t you have a chance to get some damage in.
kara f.hop, cr.lk - Hits pretty meaty, will let you block super slow reversals like ex Psycho Crusher
f.hop, cr.lp - Will make certain reversals outright whiff, and while you can’t do anything if they block, this is basically used as bait that gains you a bit of meter if they do happen to block it.
kara f.hop, walk kara throw - For the opponent who is used to blocking your cr.mk’s, work in a throw mixup.
overhead - The timing is pretty perfect, if you just delay it by a frame or two.
dash, electricity - Will get under some reversals like Boxer headbutts, Deejay upkicks, etc. and beat them clean
whiff jab(buffer electricity), walk forward, electricity - Will also get under some reversals but will let you space yourself a bit farther out to more accurately beat them. Good vs. Yun upkicks
hop, cr.lk - Will safe meaty a lot of slower reversals. If you want to stay same side directly in the corner, substitute with a dash and slightly delay the cr.lk.
whiff ball, cr.lk or electricity - Gains you some meter and the act of whiffing a ball tends to make people a bit unaware of whats going on.