Blanka Discussion #8: Footsies

blanka

#1

Usually Veserius is the one who starts these discussions and provide great information about Blanka I figured footsie is a topic that’s not covered but I find it extremely important for Blanka.

My general understanding of footsie is this.

Understanding the range of your attacks, walk speed, hurt box, and other movement options versus your opponents. Then using the knowledge to create a strategy of limiting your opponent’s options as much as possible while creating an advantageous position for you to deal damage.

I plan to expand on this topic slowly through time,

The topics covered here will be

  1. Detail analysis of Blanka’s main buttons and maybe in the future even cover the ones that’s less used
  2. General footsie strategy’s (the dos and don’ts)
  3. Specific character strategy
  4. Things to look out for against different player to potentially exploit their play style/patterns when playing footsies with them.

General Strength/Weakness of Blanka’s Footsies.

Blanka is pretty decent at footsie’s he’s got a variety of normal moves that covers different range and speed with good hit box and hurt box. Blanka also have an above average walk speed which also significantly make his footsie game better. Finally he’s got an above average throw range (0.93) which is great because what people might not realize is his kara throw range is also pretty good as well. Depending on where you are playing (arcade/home) and your button setup you may want to try using either LP (+0.2175) or forward hop (f+KKK)(+0.2213) to kara his throw. With kara throw he’s once again above average when it comes to throw range. Not to mention his post throw game is also above average because it gives plenty of time to setup your next attack, re-position yourself to a more advantageous position or simply use it to build some extra meter. His focus attack is also among the best when it comes to speed and range.

Although all the above factors seems to be key ingredient for a powerful footsie character he does lack some important ingredient to become what most players defined as a strong footsie character, which is also the reason why most Blanka players might not focus or even forget about Blanka’s footsie game. First the biggest weakness to Blanka’s footsie game is despite him having plenty of great footsie tools, he has a hard time converting them to big damage. His combos are really difficult to do, all of them are either one or two frame links and it’s not easy to cancel them to his special moves because they either all require charge or need to end with electricity which have limited range. Finally he pretty much have no way in SSF4AEv2012 to link his footsie tools into Ultra.

Fortunately in USF4 this situation might improve a bit and more information will be added when the game is out.

General Footsie Strategy and Terminology

I think a big part of playing footsie with any character is the ability to recognize when you are in an advantageous position and when you’re not and making the best options given the position you’re in. So to better understand and discuss about footsie I first will need to go over some terms that you might or might not be familiar with and how I define them.

The general idea of footsie which has been mentioned in other guides is whiff/block punishing beat pressing buttons, pressing buttons beats walking forward, and walking forward beats whiff punishing.

To clarify this idea more when you are waiting for your opponent to whiff a move or to punish them on block you are generally moving backwards, since if you need to make them whiff chances are you’re moving backwards more than you’re moving forward so they miscalculate their range of their attack and you can punish them, or if you’re just blocking their moves hoping they do something unsafe to punish them you are also moving backwards from blocking.

In the mean time walking forward beats whiff/block punishing because while your opponent is waiting for you to attack so they can block/whiff punish if all you do is walk forward you’ll eventually move them into the corner, and when they are cornered the options they have severely decreases and it’s much easier to put pressure or to score damage on them.

Finally ‘pressing buttons’/attacking/pokes will discourage them from walking forward. While obviously whenever you try to attack there’s a chance you might get whiff/block punished.

Of course in the actual game it’s more complicated than that because you also have throws that essentially beats whiff/block punishment but must be done at fairly close range. Also there’s focus attack which discourages your opponent from using certain attacks.

Pokes:
This is probably one of the most important aspects of footsie if not the most important. In the ‘general idea’ above you can refer to this as “pressing buttons”. However when people talk about it for beginners or even intermediate players they might not realize there’s different kinds of pokes for different reasons. Here’s my understanding of pokes: Using normal or special moves to attack your opponent so that they can not punish you easily if blocked (or hit). The objective of poking is to pressure them one way or another, these objective will definitely be different from characters to character. Here’s a list of possible objectives you might want to achieve when you poke.

  1. To keep them away from you. The goal is the further they are away from you the better.
  2. To keep them within a certain range so that you have more options than they have. Essentially you’re provoking them to do bad option so they will whiff, do something unsafe or you beating them with a counter poke.
  3. To maintain a constant frame advantage or at a range where you can throw out more pokes and they are forced to block or commit to a risky reversal.
  4. To push them into the corner
  5. To build meter. The one who does the attack gets more meter compared to the one who’s blocking your attacks, unless you do a EX move.
  6. To move closer to your opponent by mixing it with pokes with frame advantage and walking forward.

Counter-Pokes
When both you and your opponent are playing footsies you can also expect them to poke you while you want to poke them back. There are certain moves in the game that works well to counter the moves they use to poke at you. The objective of the counter poke is to punish their pokes, discourage them using pokes against you and either hitting them clean or trading hits with them so that you can either hit for more damage than they can or to prevent them from having an advantageous position.

Whiff Punishing
Another aspect of the footsie game is punishing your opponent when they whiff a move against you, usually because you’re moving back and forth and they mistimed their attack when you are out of range. Then you punish their attack during their recovery. This is a little bit different compared to counter poking because with counter poke you are specifically attacking them while their attack is still in either the start up or active frames, while whiff punishing is you’re baiting for a move to whiff and punishing the move during it’s recovery.

Block Punishing
A lot of the moves particularly moves with longer reach might not be safe on block especially when you do a long range move at short range distance. Block punishing is also another important aspect of playing footsies. Some of the best footsie moves like c.HK for a lot of characters is one of the best footsie move the character have but it is extremely punishable on block. If you don’t punish it you’ll make a good move for them into an extremely good move for them. By knowing what moves you can block punish you will discourage them from using it and perhaps even eliminating that particular option.


Elena Footsies/simple punish?
#2

**Hitbox/Hurtbox for Blanka’s best footsie moves **
Work in progress/read what’s going to be updated in follow up posts

I want to keep the star rating as simple and direct as possible.

  • = Not recommended
    ** = Can be good, but depends on specific situations
    *** = Recommended

The list goes in the order of what I perceive as more important to not as important at the bottom. Currently I have left out moves where I consider not essential for footsie as of now. They might be added in the future.

c.HK

http://s26.postimg.org/3ki3kdkhj/chk.jpg

Damage: 90
Start Up: 6
Active: 5
Block: -7
Hit: D

I consider this as Blanka’s best footsie tool, mainly because the range, speed and recovery is all pretty decent. Since Blanka is a charge character and his cancel into electricity or links to other normals isn’t always that reliable or damaging, scoring a hard knockdown so you can start Blanka’s good okimeze game is extremely important. When you pair this sweep with his above average walk speed it is definitely a move your opponent will need to look out for. IMO it’s one of the better sweeps in the game.

**Poke: ****
At the tip range most of the characters can not punish this at all. However there are a few characters like Vega and Fei Long can punish whenever it’s block at any range. While other characters like Ryu and Chun Li will need their Super to punish at tip range.
**Counter Poke: *****
Like most sweeps in the game, the far reach and small hurtbox at the foot makes it an ideal tool to go under a lot of character’s poke making it a great counter poke move especially against opponent’s c.LP.
**Whiff Punish: ****
Blanka’s sweep is the move to use for Blanka’s shimmy (moving backward/forward to score either throw/sweep/other options). This move works especially well when you are baiting for a throw tech after a knockdown.
**Block Punish: * **
The sweep isn’t fast enough most of the time to be used as a block punish move, other times when you can use it there’s other options that might work better.

s.LP

http://s26.postimg.org/ymczem12v/slp.jpg

Damage: 30
Start Up: 3
Active: 2
Block: +0
Hit: +3

s.LP is another very strong footsie tool, it’s a fantastic jab probably one of the best jabs in the game. The only problem with it is it’s only accessible from far range and since Blanka is a charge character it’s not easy to link or cancel into other moves effectively. The range and speed of this jab is among the best jabs in the game, and the fact you can’t cause it to whiff even when the opponent crouch is another reason why this is a fantastic poke tool.

**Poke: *****
At 3 frames, it is among the fastest pokes in the game. When paired with the range, despite the fact you’re at no frame advantage on block however, at this range most characters will lose regardless of what buttons they press because they will be out of range to jab you back and you’re in range to continue to jab. This is probably the best move to use to poke your opponent offensively. You should consider canceling it into electricity or even ex electricity every once inawhile if you’re within range to further push your opponent back and to maintain a constant frame advantage.
**Counter Poke: *****
Because of the range and speed of this move it is definitely a good choice to use it to counter poke. If you’re holding back when you’re trying to counter poke, try to buffer in a horizontal ball so it will come out if you do successfully counter poke your opponent.
**Whiff Punish: ****
Once again because of the range of this move it’s not too hard to use it as a whiff punish into either ball or electricity depending if you have charge during that time.
**Block Punish: ***** 
IMO this is THE move to use for block punish. You will want to cancel it into either HP ball or MP ball xx super. The range and speed of this move should allow you to punish a lot of moves that other characters might try to use as a pressure tool.

s.MP

http://s26.postimg.org/x9vacq3nb/smp.jpg

Damage: 80
Start Up: 7
Active: 4
Block: +1
Hit: +4

s.MP is one of Blanka’s furthest reach pokes, for the speed it has you can nearly spam this as much as s.LP, especially when on block it leaves you at +1 frame advantage. When you mix this with s.LP or other pokes it will definitely make your opponent turtle up a bit. There’s two big weakness for this move, first is like most of Blanka’s normal you can’t cancel into anything and linking other moves after this hit is not easy. The second weakness is this move hitbox is rather high and can easily be crouched under.

**Poke: *****
Excellent poke, at 7 frames, the distance it covers, the recovery and the block advantage makes this one of his key poke moves.
**Counter Poke: ***
Although you can use it as a counter poke there’s other better options. The reason why it’s not a counter poke of choice is because it hits relatively high so even if you timed it right there’s a good chance it will whiff. And even when it hits chances are it will trade, and that’s really not the objective of a good counter poke move.
**Whiff Punish: ****
On the contrary as a whiff punish, it’s quite decent although it still might whiff on opponent with low hurtbox, it still quite fast for the range it has.
**Block Punish: ***
You should not consider to use this move as a block punish at all, because there’s definitely better choices for moves to use as block punish.

c.MP

http://s26.postimg.org/pc0vb2qd3/cmp.jpg

Damage: 90
Start Up: 7
Active: 4
Block: -5
Hit: -2

Although this is one of Blanka’s key anti-air normal, it is also second as one of his best poke moves. You should also consider using this as your three button crouch tech especially against characters who like to mix up between divekick and throw. Although it’s not the best move against to divekick/throw mixup it’s one of the best solution he has.

**Poke: ****
This move is pretty good as a poke because the decent reach, relatively fast start up and good recovery. However because this move doesn’t have any advantage on hit or block it’s not the most ideal move. Although the move looks like it hits really high up, it’s still low enough to hit crouching opponent.
**Counter Poke: ****
It’s a decent counter poke due to the fact how Blanka move forward and immediately back not to mentioned the slightly lowered hurt box makes this move a good candidate to go under a high/medium-high hitting moves.
**Whiff Punish: ****
There are better choice as a whiff punish most of the time. However this move can still be consider due to the fact 7 frames the hitbox is decent.
**Block Punish: ***
Please don’t consider using this move as block punish at all.

Slide/df+HP

http://s26.postimg.org/5ioridczb/slide.jpg

Damage: 100
Start Up: 10
Active: 16
Block: -11
Hit: D

This is probably one of the most overlooked footsie tools that Blanka has. The reason is because most people see this move as high risk. Most players sees slide as a tool to just catch people off guard or to slide under fireball, however there’s much more to it than that.
Here are some uses for slides.

  1. Anti Fireball
  2. Punishing certain moves on block like Ryu’s sweep or Dictator’s EX Psycho Crusher
  3. Using it as a safe long range poke. (slide is safe at the very tip range, which is a range you should know very well)
  4. Using it to go under moves like, c.LP/c.MP especially when they are throwing it out there to counter your ball. Or if dictator is trying to contain you with s.MK/s.HK after scissor kick you can go under these moves.
  5. Catching people walking backwards because they don’t want to deal with your pokes/frame advantage pressure/mixup. Using s.LP to check to see if they are moving backwards either by letting them block s.LP or on whiff proximity ‘block’ kicks in you’ll see they are wide open below for you to slide. If they decide to crouch it means they are standing still for you to continue poke pressure.

**Poke: ****
You must be in range or have the right meaty setup for this to be a valid poke. Otherwise it’s not something you can just throw out there all the time.
**Counter Poke: *****
Like the examples I listed above, if you know a certain move is coming the slide will most likely beat anything that isn’t low invincible.
**Whiff Punish: ****
It’s a good whiff punisher if you know exactly what move they are trying to throw out, usually this happens when you’re trying to counter poke them. While other times it might be when they whiff something with long recovery far range.
**Block Punish: ****
There’s certain moves that pushes you too far out to punish with anything but slide.

s.HP

http://s26.postimg.org/5rmc8aprr/shp1.jpg

http://s26.postimg.org/53dhpcr1z/shp2.jpg

Damage: 120
Start Up: 7
Active: 6
Block: -6
Hit: -1
Poke: *
Counter Poke: ***
Whiff Punish: *
Block Punish: *

c.HP

http://s26.postimg.org/5y01bdywn/chp.jpg

Damage: 100
Start Up: 8
Active: 4
Block: -10
Hit: -4
Poke: **
Counter Poke: *
Whiff Punish: **
Block Punish: *

c.LP

http://s26.postimg.org/glz6whjhz/clp.jpg

Damage: 30
Start Up: 4
Active: 2
Block: +0
Hit: +3
Poke: ***
Counter Poke: **
Whiff Punish: *
Block Punish: *

c.MK

http://s26.postimg.org/7cx0mdalz/cmk.jpg

Damage: 70
Start Up: 5
Active: 2
Block: +1
Hit: +5
Poke: ***
Counter Poke: *
Whiff Punish: **
Block Punish: **


#3

(place holder)


#4

I’ll write some stuff here tomorrow probably


#5

updated first post with

**General Strength and Weakness to Blanka’s footsie
General Footsie Strategy and Terminology
**

I have started a draft of going through the more common (recommended) moves for footsies. Will update that next.

I’m starting to realize this is gonna be a long write up since i barely scratched the surface.

I just hope some of you Blanka players and others who stumble upon this will find it useful.


#6

got sidetracked, reading through your stuff now.


#7

**Hitbox/Hurtbox for Blanka’s best footsie moves ** added but not complete

Next Update:

  • Currently only covers the top (imo) Blanka normals
  • Still missing detailed description for why I put specific rating for each moves
    - Missing hitbox/hurtbox images, these will be available when i find a place to put those pictures online.

#8

This is gonna be really useful. I’ve noticed people actually underestimate Blanka’s normals.

Too bad it won’t change XBL Blanka.


#9

Added the first description for c.HK with the explanation to each individual sub-point rating (Poke, Counter poke, whiff punish, block punish)

I will probably follow this format for the rest of the moves if nobody have any other suggestions.


#10

This is great
Can’t wait for the finalised version


#11

I’ve just started to play blanka pretty seriously about 2 months ago and I can’t for the life of me whiff punish with C.HK during footsies unless it’s a really bad whiff on their part. I’m really used to honda’s S.HK to whiff punish and it punishes everything under the sun but tonight especially I just had a really hard time whiff punishing sweeps with my own sweep. There was one instance against chun-li where I had a really good read on her sweep timing and every time I whiff punished it was just out of reach even after a good amount of frames walking forward.

Does anyone have some advice for landing S.HK whiff punish or should I just use C.HP? I’m also wanting to experiment with FS.HP but more often than not if I don’t have a good read or godlike reactions I can’t land the counter hit. If I whiff that I feel like I go from in control to eating a free punish and I don’t know if the risk justifies the reward.

I REALLY enjoy playing a super lame blanka so learning everything about his footsies is going to be my next plateau to reach before I get a strong consistent blanka. Also thanks for this thread, I’m really looking forward to the finished product to step up my game.


#12

Here’s my advice.

Against chun it’s quite difficult because she’s probably one of the best if not the best character footsie wise and punishing her sweep with your sweep is quite difficult due to the range of her sweep vs yours.

Imo your sweep is best used to punish moves similar to ryu c.mp or when your opponent tries to crouch tech and you move out of their range and either whiff or counter poke them.

If you do have a solid read you can try to use slide. Imo it’s a pretty good counter poke if you know exactly what’s coming. Example you’re using lp/mp ball against ryu/chun they are trying to throw moves pre-emptively to beat your ball. Chances are the buttons they are using to beat ball will lose to slide.

S.hp isn’t really used as a whiff punish either but more like a counter poke. If you know the opponent might throw out something like their c.mk, your s.hp is probably the best move to use against it due to the fact the range it covers and the ability to hit any low profile moves. It’s more of a move to throw out there when you think they are gonna do c.mk, at the range. Make sure you’re at a range where it’ll either hit their limbs or it whiffs kinda far, because even on whiff s.hp isn’t easy to punish as long as you’re not spamming it.

C.hp is situational I would advice not to throw it out unless you’re sure they aren’t gonna jump or focus you.

Against chun in general my advice is not to play a regular footsie game. You will need to use ball before she gets her u1(and if she’s using U2 you can celebrate). Also her anti air in general against blankas jump attack isn’t strong as long as she doesn’t have charge and meter to do her ex sbk.

As for lame blanka, I personally think it works in a few match ups but not all.

Let me know if you got more questions.