Making a new thread for this because this critical information is sprinkled across single posts in 3 matchup threads, the framedata thread and some videos. ITT, we collect info on his defensive zoning, actually practical frame traps, baits and situational defensive shenanigans.
Jimmy?s defensive mixups, in my opinion, are the most important part of his game, second only to footsies. With the exception of the extremely rare advantageous matchup where you can go ballin? all day with no punish, and can safely fight at immediate range, you?re going to be turtling. More so than that, Blanka has to be an active turtle, holding down back but chasing the sweet spot and baiting.
**Practical Frame Traps: **
Here?s illitirit?s list of all theoreticals.As he stated, not all of them actually useful because of the close/far positioning. Here?s the ones I?ve found to be the most useful and why:
*Close MP, Far HK *- as stated in the post, beats 2 frame pokes nicely, puts jab/short spammers on notice. Particularly useful for baiting opponents with an EX.DP to attempt throwing it out after the MP. Condition, block, punish.
*Far MP, Far LP (hit confirm) into ball *? Beats 3 frame pokes. Obviously not for on-hit ball punishers, but a nice tool to have in matchups where you spend a lot of time at st.HP max range to shut down pokes. It would be nice if it could be an LP piano?d to elec, but the range won?t connect. Ball will also stop those who like to focus bait when they see you throwing far MP.
Close MP, Crouch HK ? Beyond all other pokes everyone loves an untechable knockdown, and here?s one that?ll beat 2 frame pokes. NOT FOR USE on Ultras that punish your sweep (Hosenka, Spiral Drive Smasher, Rolling Thunder, etc;).
Close MK, Close LP piano?d to HP elec ? A decent replacement for the above, minus the ultra punishability. Though close MK isn?t as good for throwing out as close MP, it allows for a close LP, which means it beats 2 framers and lets you safely piano one out.
Crouch MK, Crouch MK ? Makoto style, it frame traps itself. Stops 2 frames pokes. I don?t throw this out too often, only to create mixups by hopping to up-ball, or hit-confirming into U1. For the unaware, cr.MK to hop can, if spaced correctly, not crossup, allowing for an up ball mixup if they?re used to getting cross hopped.
Good Beast players already apply this, but for those trying to improve their turtle game, know that as much as you?re playing in a reactionary manner, respecting the opponent too much will cost you rounds. Basically, proper turtling when you play defensively is doing so without allowing them to gain any ground that they don?t already have when the match starts. A default mindset that I like to start with (before switching it up) is split between preparing to react to any jumps with the appropriate ranged AA (cr.MP, j.HP, s.HK, Upball, or coward crouch into elec, a forgotten but useful AA), not throwing out cr.HP or cr.HK unless it?s a confirmed reaction**(a golden rule, as 25 fucking recovery frames gives the opponent time to grab a coke before jumping in for a combo)** getting in position to shut down whiffed long pokes with s.HP from the farthest possible range (sometimes you can go for a second s.HP, it?ll win out on careless footsies and effectively be a priority trap), and then, applying matchup specific zoning modifiers.
Those modifiers include things like:
Fireball matchups: walk forward, taking the chip if needed, but hold your ground. Don?t try to slide everything you see, know when the window has passed. Apply meter management, as they will always have more.
Safe sliders: Back-the-fuck-dash back to mid range. Don?t resort to careless pokes. Cross hop/rainbow when cornered.
Dive kickers: Same as above, except throwing in air-to-air j.HP punishes to obvious high dives, and never focusing low ones (You?ll get DP?d)
Safe on block charge chars: Fuck 'em. Understand that it?s a patience game. Rely on fundementals only. Use EVERY knockdown to crosshop and break their charge, even if you just chip them off, you?ll need every inch against shit like safe scissors and safe headbutts. This is more important that using the knockdown for meter building (which you should also be done in every other matchup)
Also, Blanka’s weird sized crouching hit box will ocassional save him from certain character’s BnBs. Learn these and don’t miss the moment when it happens.
Last minute shenaningans:
I find that every Blanka needs to have an arsenal of last minute rare situational gimmicks to break out when you?re both down to pixels of life. These are high risk, but if you haven?t played this card in the match yet, it?s a better gamble that it will work and win you the game.
*Option select jump-in HK/crossup MK to coward crouch EX elec *? Only when coast is clear on their wake up, and they have no get-out-of-jail-frees. Jumping in with no life is suicide otherwise. But it will catch a waking backdasher with the EX elec range, or things like a waking Rog headbutt.
Fake ball into slide ? scrubby and dangerous as fuck, but for some reason it tends work on even solid players once. Might as well make that once the round winning move.
EX. Rainbow chip ? the only time worth making this shitty hit connect is for a chip kill. Min range is easy to swing back and forth above their head, and they will not have enough life to focus with. Desperation ultras can be baited.
*U2 *? I know, every has learned how to punish it now. But they usually have to be grounded for that. Fuck up their timing by activating on any irresponsible movements that will offset the time before they can make that first jump, and they will be forced to eat the chip. In example, activate at the peak of a random jump back, or activate on a grounded opponent so that the first hit comes out meaty. It is still a hard to punish move if they are in a non-controllable state when the flash goes off.
Please correct mistakes, contribute improved strategies, and discuss.