Destin's Sakura Advanced Play Guide

sakura

#1

Foreword in Spoiler, feel free to skip:

foreword

[details=Spoiler]Well, I have pretty much dropped Sakura, because I think she is a boring character both to play and in design (the latter being my reason for dropping her). Although I moved on to Vega, so I’m not exactly expecting to win any tournaments anytime soon.

Anyhow, I thought I would share some of the things I had learned along the way. Bear in mind that many of my thoughts on Sakura are actually quite different from what Sabre thinks, and he has placed better in tournaments than I ever had with the character. I haven’t exactly been a slouch, I spent alot of time playing some of the better players on the EC, and have put countless hours against Arturo, so I am pretty solid on the seth/sim matches.

This guide is not intended to be comprehensive, if you guys would like that, I could try to fill that in although it would take a while. I think most people have a general idea on how to play sakura, I am going to try to fill in some obvious holes that I see in every sakura with explanation, although this guide became much more basic than I had intended as I wrote it, my apologies.[/details]

Advanced Combos ect. you should be doing but are probably not

**1) The biggest trick here that I haven’t seen anyone else use is dp FADC’s into stand HP -> B&B. The B&B I am referring to is

hp, lk tatsu, cr.hp, ex tatsu, jump RH. This B&B works on everyone, and should be your B&B, especially for punishes.**

The general idea was taken from post about using lp shouken in combos, which does less damage and doesn’t give you all the great links. Technically MP is the strongest of the bunch, but HP shouken gives you more time and range at the cost of like 10 health, definitely recommended. This pretty much obsolete’s Fireball FADC combos.

There is the obvious use in combos to increase strength (say, jump HP, Hp, EX shouken, FADC, Hp, lk tastu, crouch hp, ex tastu, ultra/ other finish for around 600). Much important than this is turning any random crouch mk -> dp into 440 damage with reset! This completely changes how scary Sakura’s poke game is. Any move that can buffer into dp safely on whiff becomes a possible match ender. This means stand lk, crouch lk, crouch mp, and crouch mk. I will explain later how to buffer dp’s into those moves easier.

This also comes up in punishes, some moves only being punishable by dp’s or crouch mk -> DP become half life killers. If you block a blanka upball, you can now lay down the hurt. Additionally, you can take your ex shouken on hit (with hit detect) and turn it into huge damage as well. I don’t have my game on me but I would wager around 480 with reset. This is a huge damage difference.

One of the big problems that people don’t realize when they say Sakura has a decent ultra is that unlike ryu and sagat, who get their ultra in a situation where they would get no other damage, Sakura gets her ultra after most of the damage has been done, in already big damage combos. In the end, she may add 60 or so damage to a combo that does 400, while Ryu and Sagat get to add 300 to 400 damage to a move that would otherwise do about 150. But, with this combo, you get to add around 250 damage, and get a superior mixup, to a combo that would otherwise only do around 200. The comparative damage difference is so big that in many ways it changes the flow of your matches. This is not to say that sakura’s ultra doesn’t have its place, especially on lucky ex shouken fishing combos, but the comparison between her’s and ryu/sagats is pretty weak.

If the opponent blocks your dp, I say FADC forwards. You come out at likely +0, but the fact that you will have the frame timing down and your opponent won’t is a big advantage in your favor. Condition them with scary stand HP -> lk tastu. Stand HP is 3f, unless they dp it will beat out or trade with anything they are trying, likely in your favor. And it will probably beat it out. If you mess up the HP timing, often the lk tatsu will actually crossup! This is a neat trick, doesn’t work on all characters though. Once they start blocking after the fadc, do things like fadc forwards dash throw, or FADC forwards dash lk tastu, FADC forwards dash stand lp -> pressure. Whatever, you get to be creative.

2) Stop ending your combos in otoshi, and mixup finishers
There is very little reason to end your combo in otoshi. First off, it does 160, your jump RH does 100, with probably 240ish stun to RH’s 200. Personally, even with the 60 damage difference and stun increase, I would still go with jump RH or HP, because its post hit options are just that much better. But it gets worse for that shitty move. Otoshi counts as 3 hits for damage scaling purposes. This is why it only does 160 instead of 168, the last hit is smacked down to 80%, while 2 are kept in the 100%. But this double 100% modifier for the beginning of combos is misleading, lets say you do ex hurricane into RH or otoshi. Then you get whatever ex hurricane. The RH damage will be 100 at 100%. The otoshi will be 60(100%), 60(80%), 48(70%), which comes out to about 142. So now you are sitting on a 42 point difference with little post okizeme if used at the beginning of the combo.

But it gets worse as the combos get larger. The problem with the move stems from 2 issues. 1, at the end of the combo, you are going to be down at the 40%'s, so that old 42 point difference will look more like 24. But another issue is that the effect of damage scaling becomes larger with each hit, and the 3 hit function of the otoshi plays poorly off this. The drop from 80% to 70% is a 12.5% drop in damage . The drop from 20% to 10% is 50% of the total damage. Scaling becomes more important with each hit, and if your otoshi is pulling the 40%, 30%, 20%, that is going to be around 10 points more damage, if you are lucky. Now you are giving up much better positioning and mixup for like 10 damage, congrats.

The followup with Jump RH is on characters who you can either immediate dash to crossup, or you can take a tiny step back then dash for non crossup. A third possibility is just walk forwards for the non crossup, but I prefer more ambiguous setups as they stand the test of time, rather than gimmicky setups that can be seen.

The followup for Jump HP is a crossup attempt with LK or HP, or a step back into a non crossup attempt with HP.

If you are planning on breaking the stun with the final moves for whatever reason, otoshi will make your post stun combo 3 hits deeper, which is a huge difference in scaling, versus the jump RH/HP’s 1 hit. Granted, the stun on the otoshi is a bit larger, and may get you that last hit needed for the stun where you would have missed it with the RH, but I think with messing around you will find most often the RH does the job, with better damage at that. So even for stun, I would use the RH.

Even if you don’t use the jump HP RH, I find jump LK is STILL better than otoshi. Jump LK leads to GREAT crossups that can often almost finish the round if they hit. I gladly sacrifice the 40 or so odd damage for this attempt.

Personally I don’t like dash LP dash crossup whatever. I think if I am going to sacrifice the damage of a power move at the end of the combo, I want the completely ambiguous power of jump LK for the more damage, rather than the weaker crossup with the dash, as dashes are possible to react to at 18 frames. If you have the spacing down for jump lk, that shit is impossible to see, they have to guess. Jump LK also lets you move back at the last second and backdash even sagats tiger uppercut. This move is troubling because it catches most backdashes, and with meter it becomes a pressure starter. Don’t let this happen to you! If they dp, you want it to be match, or your offence will be pathetic.

3) Do the correct combos. Stop being lazy
Without having the game for 2 months or so, I can still pick up the game and do Sakura’s links at 95% accuracy within an hour or two. There are just no excuses, these links are important. Some people say the damage difference isn’t big enough (it is, especially considering its free damage, the best type of damage), or that its too hard (it isn’t, learn Plinking). But beyond both of these, the stun difference is usually huge, stun can either turn into greater damage at the end, or end the match. I would love actual numbers as I don’t have the game, but I remember significant differences in stun, which is almost as good as damage with sakura.

Now to go on to the other complaints, the damage difference isn’t big enough. If you are in a situation where you are going to land a close HP, there is going to be a big damage difference if you go into the link instead just right to ex hk. Another advantage to doing longer link combos is it offsets the damage reduction of whatever post ex HK mixup you go for instead of otoshi. In a way, its important to take both steps 3 and 2 together, alone, they can seem weak. The extra damage from otoshi can seem more important than the jump RH if you have a small combo, and on the other side of the coin if you plan on ending with otoshi, the damage difference from a large combo is offset a bit. But when you put them together, you get all the damage and more than you would have from the small combo and otoshi, AND you get the good mixup options. All with more stun, more meter building, and pushing them into the corner. Not looking so trivial now is it?

Now, another possible argument is going for standing lk instead of crouching HP. Standing LK does 30 damage, versus the crouch hp’s 100, this is a 70 damage difference, that is probably more like 50 when you take into account damage scaling. But there is also a significant stun increase and gauge increase to take into account. The up side of the standing lk is that it is 3 frames, making it a 2 frame link, whereas crouch hp is a 1 frame link. But, stand lk cannot be plinked, because moving down the priority list to lp gives you throw, whereas crouch hp can be plinked, turning the 1 frame link into a 2 frame link, making them roughly the same difficulty. Plinking is great if you have played guilty gear, as its the same as the old option select throws, but assuming you haven’t, the best trick is to keep your fingers static, angle your hand, then move you whole hand down. This way, you have less muscles you have to control to maintain consistency. Go to training mode and make sure you see first the red hp, then yellow mp and red hp on the line above, even though you only hit the button once. For more on Plinking, go to the stickied thread.

Now, the B&B that I listed at the top from FADC dp is fairly hard, it involves possibly 3 1f links unless there is a buffer I do not know about for dashes from focus cancels. But, plinking on the HP inputs, both standing and crouching change that to one 1f link and two 2f links, which is entirely doable. I had these combos down to over 95%, if i hit a crouch mk, you were going to take alot of damage. This one will be hard and require you to have the first combo down (the crouch hp link), but it is entirely doable and possibly necessary for higher level sakura in this iteration of 4.

Other combos of note are pretty basic, going from crouch lp to crouch mk instead of standing lk or whatever. There is no reason to do that cvs2 shit, this isn’t cvs2, the cr.mk link is easy, does more damage, hits farther, hits low, ect.

Now, I am not against the crouch lk, crouch lp, crouch hp ex tastu whatever combo. This combo has its place alongside the link combos, not as a replacement for them.

4) Buffer dp’s into more than just crouch mk!
You can actually buffer dps into your stand lk, crouch lk, and crouch mp when used for counter poking and whiff punishing. This, when combined with the combo listed in step one, means your whiff punish or counter poke turns into big damage!
The trick for this, beyond using the shortcut when it helps (df, db, df), is to hold the HP after you enter the dp. This is because the negative edge will preform the dp on these faster moves. You do not want this. By holding the button down, you basically reduce your window. Right now you may be content to poke with just cr.mk. This is fine for a while, but eventually you will want moves that are harder to whiff punish, have less recovery, or work better against certain types of moves. All of these moves can become big damage and are worth trying out.

5) Count your stun!
Sakura benefits second most in the game from counting stun, outside of fuerte. What you may not know, if that almost all situations when you land a combo (assuming you do the king shit combos I listed, none of that stand HP ex tastu), then a reset, set you up for a game victory against average stun characters. This is because you can do the final mixup with an instant high low. Your object is to get the character within 200 of their next stun, then mixup with instant jump RH, or a standard low string. By making your stun occur on the first hit instead of at the end of your combo, you allow yourself to get a full damage combo after the stun, instead of a pathetic 100 extra damage. To set up the instant jump RH, ex tastu into lp shouken, mp shouken (for extra meter, damage, positioning, and stun). After this you walk forwards, and if you place a jump back RH on the first frame of the opponents wakeup, they will have a standing hitbox. This allows for the mixup, because if they are blocking low, but with a high hitbox, it counts as an overhead for 200 points of stun, and 100 damage. Otherwise you go low. This is too fast to be seen, so as far as defense goes it is pure 50/50, plus it will probably work on almost everyone a number of times. Go high.

This is an even better setup though because at this point the opponent is sitting at 1 hit = death until you stop your offense. They know a backdash punished by standing RH is loss. A throw is loss. Random overhead is loss. It is a very powerful position for you to be in.

You can set up this stun situation with almost any combo into reset. The only combo that doesn’t work against normal stun characters is cr.lk, cr.lp, cr.hp, ex tatsu, jump lk reset with the same combo into 2 dps. Any more powerful variant will do the trick, say change the reset to the Stand hp B&B, or change the jump lk reset to jump HK, or start the combo off with a jumping (although if you start with a jumpin, you should always go to your stand hp B&B, which also solves the problem.) It is possible to go too far and stun early, in which case you can usually leave out one or two of the dragon punches. This occurs if you use two strong B&B link combos, with a jump HK to reset. If you land the first link HP B&B, you can then reset with lk and combo with cr.lk. The advantage to reseting with lk is you get a more ambiguous reset, the advantage to comboing with cr.lk cr.lp is if the opponent blocks, you still get your mixup with throws and other rushdown. Once you begin to play around with it, you will get a feel for where you opponent is stun wise. It is important not to take the bait and go for the stun at the end of your long link combo because the damage will be very low, starting at 30% and dropping. The third combo on the other hand could win the round. There are exceptions to this, but in general its great to go for that final reset.

Some problems that come up with the instant high low mixup part is quick rise. It can be hard to react to, and if you don’t react in time, you don’t get your mixup. Rather than try to see the person quickrising, which is very tough for some characters, look under their name on the hud for the words that appear (I think its technical). This is very black and white, easy to see, pops up immediately, and helps with your reaction time to the point where its a breeze.

6) Stop punishing things with throw
I know throw is an attractive option, it is 3 frames, your fingers are always ready to hit it, it sets up your scary mixup you worked so hard on. But it only does 120 damage. You have standing HP, which is also 3 frames, but sets up big damage, and most likely with a small amount of meter an even better mixup. People need to get it into their head to punish everything possible with standing HP, because it is pretty much your biggest damage doer, AND your fastest move. I play vega now, and I have to choose between throw, or a 9 or 8 frame move for more damage. That is something you actually have to consider, with sak, it is a no brainer.
The most common example is punishing a jump miss with throw. If you manage to say walk under a move, make them whiff their crossup in some form, punish that shit with standing fierce punch. It is the same window as throw. When a person lands from an attack, they have 2 frames where they cannot block or throw break. If you are hitting with throw, it means you are hitting in these two frames, since everyone breaks throw there anyhow. Instead of this, hit them that standing HP! The difference this makes in the Rufus matchup is HUGE. No longer can he jump around like an idiot throwing out a million jump RH, if he misses just one, you make him pay with a big combo and mixup.
If someone misses something that is punishable with throw, it is punishable with stand HP, so DO IT!

7) Option Select into a combo
When you are doing throw option select on the ground, push lp quickly afterwards as well. This lets you hit confirm into your basic damage, and now in addition to throwing out the possible throw break, if for some reason a move comes out and you hit, you get a combo into dragon punch, or if they are close enough, crouch HP tatsu -> mixup -> win. If you are against rufus, option select that throw break crouch hp into lk tatsu as well.

8) Don?t lv3 focus after stun
Her focus counts as 2 moves, but only does 130 damage. You can start your post stun combo off with jump HP for 100 damage and only 1 move. The extra 30 damage will EASILY be made up for with the damage scaling increase you get. Set up this jump HP back backdashing after you get the stun.

Destin?s personal little tricks
This stuff isn?t especially great, but it adds flair and I generally enjoy putting my own little mark on things. Don?t get the idea that this stuff is bad though, just perhaps not worth putting in without a disclaimer. I don?t mind if you guys use this stuff as I quit Sakura anyhow.

-When you are doing a frontside crossup, kara HK->EX hurricane kick to flip sides very quickly into cr.lp, cr.lk, cr.mk shouken. In the corner you get cr.lp, cr.lk. cr.hp ex tatsu. There are a few tricky things with this. One is that the ex tatsu moves you down faster than your jump so you land early and get to go low at the same time that a jump attack would be hitting. Another is that it recovers so quickly you can land to throw, or the low attack will not likely be beaten. Finally, if you do the ex tatsu a split second later, it will do an air hit on the front side, in the corner this combos to mp shouken. If you do the ex tatsu a split second later than that, it looks like it will hit high but doesn?t, then you get cr.lk -> combo or throw. And of course, the final option is to just not do the ex tatsu. So fun.

-When in the corner after ex tatsu, do high jump RH, land and walk in the corner, at the last second do stand lp, stand hp -> combo. The stand lp pushes you out very quickly, and might even push you past your opponent beyond the normal time you can walk under him. Beyond this is looks very cool and is nearly impossible to react to.

-Crouch mk, fadc forwards, throw. This is old school team serious tech called the magic cancel in guilty gear. We would roman cancel moves that had no need to be roman canceled, then throw. For some reason this worked against everyone, even the top players, even daigo. It works pretty well in SF4 as well, although the dash kinda slows down the whole thing. Still, no one has broken the throw with sakura, not even wong.

-Crossup attempt with jump mk. Except this move doesn?t crossup, it looks a lot like jump lk, so the opponent expects the block freeze (where the both characters stop moving for a few frames when a move hits or is blocked), and then you land and throw, messing up their throw break timing. It works especially well on A3 and CvS2 players who had bad memories of sakuras jump mk (sadly I never played those games).
-After back throw, instead of building meter, I do ex otoshi. This move if timed frame perfect is +4 on block, which most people don?t know. Now you get to start your offense up again instead of giving up full screen positioning for just 25%
I will write more tricks as I remember them.

There are no videos out there of me beyond something in the like the first two weeks of the game, sorry guys =(.


kjjk
#2

Sakura Basic Gameplan Ideas

If you are an advanced player you should probably stop reading at the previous section.

** What are you going to do if your opponent sits there doing nothing?**

You have to either chip him, or apply pressure with mixups, which require you getting close.
We will start with chip. As Sakura, what moves do you have to work with for chip? Chip moves are generally safe moves, so you are mostly looking at hurricane kicks, or fireballs. Fireballs are very hard to chip with Sakura until you get them into the corner, because she has a tough time dealing with focus -> backdash. Her fireball is too slow for you to catch them off guard into not focusing, and has too much recovery for you to punish it well (Although perhaps ex otoshi will punish this attempt, someone test it for me?). When you get them to the corner, focus backdash no longer is an option for them, so fireball becomes much more attractive. You can attempt to push them into the corner with stand RH pressure, especially against characters that play poor footsies and have little recourse against the stand RH (Sagat), but it can be difficult with characters with solid footsies like Ryu, as he can walk out of RH range, then punish the whiff with sweep. It takes a lot of Stand RH to move someone to the corner as well.

Hurricane kick is also a fairly viable chip option. Chip is 25% of move power, and while her hurricane kick is a powerful move, it is powerful throughout the 3 hits. I say 3 hits because HK hurricane is probably the only move you will use for chip. Her mk hurricane is -3 on block, and with spacing can be mostly safe, but it is rather difficult to get that spacing right and not so much better than HK to make it worth it. So you are chipping with HK hurricane kick, since it is likely you are only hitting with the last hit, you are getting around 15 points of damage and placing yourself at -2 near the opponent, which is not that hot. -2 near the opponent is a mixup for your opponent if he knows the Sakura frame data. Most players do not, but it is never a good idea to get bad habits because your poor competition doesn?t know what they are supposed to be doing, learn a gameplan that would work against everyone. Most of the time you will be doing HK hurricane kick into backdash, at many distances this is difficult for your opponent to punish, and you get away with meter and chip. An advantage to HK hurricane kick as a chip option is if your opponent decided to fireball, you get 60-120 damage, and +2 next to them, which means mixups for you! A downside is it is a larger risk than most chip and pressure tools, putting you at risk for dragon punches or pokes.

Outside of chip, you have walking in for pressure. In order to do this, you have to get past whatever pokes your opponent has, which can range from reasonable to extremely difficult. In order to get people to stop throwing out pokes so often to keep you out, you need to scare them from throwing these pokes. This is done by making them take damage for putting out their limbs. Any of her main pokes into dragon punch, hopefully even FADC forwards HP B&B will help put the scare on your opponents. By throwing these out as whiffs, either stand lk, crouch mp, or crouch mk respective to distance, you can buffer the dragon punch safely. When you are close enough to actually make contact with the move, it is best not to do the dragon punch unless you can somehow hit detect the move, or have a very good sense of when it will hit. If you get yourself into stand lk range, you have already started frame advantage into mixups! Some problems that arise with walking in to create pressure is a less than great walk speed, and subpar options against option selects and backdashes. Despite this, walking in is an important concept in her offense, because without it the opponent can literally do nothing but react and punish. If the character has poor anti air options, then her fantastic jump RH becomes a great option to start pressure, but it weakens as her opponents anti air becomes stronger.

I won?t explain how to work her offense as far as frame traps and such go, but take solace in the fact that she has some of the best, if not the best up close normals for pressure. Tons of fast 3 frame moves that give very large advantage (from +1 to +4), and easy hit detect strings into dragon punches. You should be able to hit detect into dragon punch by the second hit that hits in an offensive string. My Japanese guide says to use lk tatsu to bait option selects, but I don?t like this for 2 reasons. 1, it only stops cr.lk option selects, not crouch lp option selects. 2, it effectively ends your offense, you end as +0 so there is almost no reason for your opponent not to just throw out a low kick or jab afterwards, at worst he trades. With all frame advantage mixups, you have to be on the lookout for dragon punches, which can be backdash baited or blocked, and you have to be on the lookout for backdashes, which you can occasionally catch with crouch mk shouken, or at least stand HK.

** How do I stop them opponent from rushing me down?**

This section will be quick as its almost self explanatory. Sakura has some fairly decent defensive tools. Crouch HP is a great anti air, and can be used against most jump ins. It often will catch people trying late crossups off guard, because she is ducking and her hitbox is lower, the move does not hit as early, and at 4 frames sakura has time to turn around and crouch fierce their attempt. I found it working well against some Bisons.

Other anti airs to take into note are jump straight up MK (the best of the 3), HK, and HP. Also jump forwards/back MP (good versus Bison) HP, LK, and HK. Up close, option selecting into combo is very strong, backdash option select throw break, and occasionally even EX shouken FADC forwards combo.

Sakura has a lot of trouble against dive kicks and I will explain how to beat them a bit more in the character specific sections if I ever get around to it, but basically, crouch hp is a short range anti air, because the opponent can change when she/he hits, they can often make it whiff. At best, risk reward is not going to be in your favor either. The best option is to meet the dive kick in the air if safely possible.

Basic Combos

Her basic combo is:
-stand hp , LK tastu, cr.hp, EX tatsu, jump RH.

If you lack the meter for ex tatsu, I say end with HK tatsu, comparable damage, same buttons being pressed (if you do the ex move with hk and mk), decent post mixup, and safe if you miss the link. Sometimes depending on the range you may want to substitute the cr. Hp with a stand lk, but make sure its not just you being lazy. Against larger characters like rufus a third rep with stand lk can also be done after the cr.hp for more stun and damage (I think its more stun,damage and meter at least)

Anytime you get yourself to shouken in a combo by the third hit, I would say it is worth it to FADC forwards into stand HP ect. Example:

Jump RH, crouch mk, HP shouken, FADC forwards HP, LK tatsu, cr.hp, EX tatsu, jump RH.

Now for a list of more basic combos, if anyone wants to come up with the damage/stun, I would be happy to write it in.

-jump hk, stand hp, lk tastu, cr.hp, ex tatsu, jump RH
-jump hk, crouch mk, hp Shouken
-jump hk, crouch mk, hp shouken, FADC forwards, hp, lk tatsu, cr.hp, ex tatsu, jump RH
-Neutral jump mk, crouch hp, ex tatsu, jump RH
-Neutral jump mk, crouch hp, shouken, FADC, stand hp, lk tatsu, cr.hp, ex tatsu, jump RH (This combo is only good with the meter to get the ex tatsu, otherwise stick with the combo above)
-Neutral jump mk, crouch mk, shouken
-Neutral jump mk, crouch mk, shouken, FADC, stand hp, lk tatsu, cr.hp, ex tatsu, jump RH
-cr.lk, cr.lp, cr.hp, ex tatsu, jump RH (this combo often misses on Blanka and Honda.)
-cr.lk, cr.lp, cr.mk, shouken
-EX tatsu -> ultra
-psychic cr.hp, ex tatsu, ultra
-Stand lk, stand lk, shouken, FADC, stand hp, LK tatsu, cr.hp, ex tatsu, jump RH
-Any pressure string into stand lk, shouken.
-forwards mk CH, stand lk shouken
-lk tatsu CH, crouch mk, shouken, FADC, stand hp , LK tatsu, cr.hp, EX tatsu, jump RH.
-lk tatsu non CH, cr.hp, EX tatsu, jump RH
-lk tatsu non CH, stand lk, HK tatsu/shouken.

That should cover most of her basic combos.

Crossups and such

Sakura has a shitty crossup in jump lk. Well, its shitty as far as its usage outside of post knockdown situations, but it is quite solid after certain knockdowns, such as throw. Additionally, you can use her jump HP to crossup, which in the corner can be extremely ambiguous as it can push you outside of the corner and hit on the front, when a jump lk would hit on the back.

I usually attempt to crossup to the back with lk and the front with hp, although sometimes my hp on the front is so close to the changing point that I get the crossup version instead. Often you want to do these crossups meaty on wakeup to prevent your opponent from walking out of them and to force the stand hitbox. If you think you are going to hit with the crossup, go right for the stand HP B&B, if you are less sure and think your opponent might block it, you might want to try going for the cr. Lk, cr. Lp, cr. Hp ect. Combo, because on block you maintain a mixup after cr.lp

Against better players, I find myself able to land the jump hp on the front side more than the jump lk on the backside, as the crossup point for this move is deceptively far forwards.

In the corner, I like to do my crossups higher than it seems sabre does, hitting the jump HK earlier and just choosing at the last second which side to be on. With that I almost always go for stand hp, as it is so hard to see it really becomes a 50/50, and worth my while to give up the offense for it. Either that, or I will bait dps. If the opponent does his dp with df,db,df,db, it doesn?t matter which side you are on, it will come out.


Sakura Beginner Guide. New to Sakura? Come here!
Sakura Q&A: Ask simple questions here!
Sakura Beginner Guide, New to Sakura? Come Here! Now updated with Notes, Tips, and Video Tutorial!
#3

**This one I will finish over a week or so, it would just take too long to do even half right for now **

Character specifics

Ok, I think I finished some of what I wanted with the general and advanced, so now I will move on to some character matchups. I don’t feel as solid about my advice in this section, so I will list who I have played and how much experience I have.

Ryu

[details=Spoiler]

I had alot of experience early on against a ryu named Kyokuji, I believe it is a canadian A3 player? Fantastic Ryu player, helped me progress with Sakura and with street fighter in general. I started losing about 80%, but in the end brought it to around 50/50. The key turning point was once I could use that combo listed under 1, the crouch mk into dp FADC ect. Also, depending on lag for the day sometimes I would get jumpins that he could not dp which is not indicative of a real match. Since then I havent lost to a ryu (although I only play offline).

I will start with some tricks, then go into the basics of it.

-Ryus dragon punch can be backdashed fairly easily for punish.
-Ryus tatsu goes over your focus if you hold it long enough, making it harder for him to punish focus attempts.
-If ryu does cr.mk -> fireball, you can Focus the fireball, dash forwards, and do your stand hp , LK tastu, cr.hp, EX tatsu, jump RH combo.
-His ultra should be jumped into punishment from any range which you are at neutral.
-EX tatsu is great against his fireballs, think of it as a safer jump attempt, +4 on block is nice too for starting pressure. It CAN be dragon punched however.

Anyhow, seeing as ryu is a basic shoto, I should explain what his goals are, then how they relate to you. I will probably reference back to this section with other characters.

Ryu is perfectly content to win a matchup chipping you to death with fireballs. Against many characters, Sakura being one of them, he has little reason to jump in unless you are being overly aggressive with unsafe moves. Sakura has a great, fast anti air, so he is not going to catch you off guard, but you get very little damage off it and poor okizeme, so it is a risk he can take multiple times if he sees you playing fireball games, throwing out too much standing RH, or focusing too much.

In addition to his fireballs that he is using to chip you, he will use his crouch mk to keep you out in footsies, and his dragon punch to do big damage if you attempt to counter his fireballs. These two options net ryu a lot of damage, and are the major obstacles for either jumping over the fireballs, or moving forwards into pressure range.

So now as Sakura you have to get around this. Obviously if Ryu throws a very predictable fireball, you get a jump into into HP B&B link combo. This is so damaging and powerful, that a good Ryu will throw a limited amount of fireballs compared to against other characters. The risk of him eating a big combo or pressure from jump RH is too big, compared to your much weaker ground pressure. He really wants you to jump at him so he can get his dp trade ultra as well.

Your pokes will serve you well in this match, while your cr.mk doesnt exactly beat ryus flat out, it will sometimes, and because you get a shouken FADC stand hp , LK tastu, cr.hp, EX tatsu, jump RH, it will be working out in your favor. The downside to this is the move has a somewhat large recovery, which will allow ryu to maneuver around, possible whiff punish, possible force chip and distance with fireball on whiff recovery. Stand lk also works well against cr.mk, and cr.mp can be used like a ghetto shoto cr.mp. Both should be buffered into dp on whiff attempts. Stand RH can tag an opponent walking forwards, and I use it in some of the same ways I would use a fireball with a shoto. It is a 28 frame move, versus a shotos 40 frame fireball, so it is safer (though not unpunishable) to jumps, but it doesnt cause chip, and can be footsied range dependent.

Thats about all I can think about for now, maybe I will add more later.[/details]

Ken

[details=Spoiler]

My main opponent for this was Doctor Chaos. Doctor Chaos is sick, its so sad to see him use such a shitty character instead of like, Akuma. Anyhow, same format, I will start with tricks I learned, and then get into the basics.

-Kens f-mk is -1 on block. Do not give him free pressure after this! Throw out a stand lk, at 3f, it will stop anything he tries.
-Kens cr.mk -> fireball is SUPER easy to fadc forwards stand hp , LK tastu, cr.hp, EX tatsu, jump RH. So do it.
-Option select is very important against kens offense, learn how to break that throw. Remember, without the red fireball he has trouble doing as much damage as ryu outside of crouch lk, cr.lp. Its ok to eat a cr.mk -> fireball from ken.

Other than that, he is pretty much the same as ryu with a way worse fireball, and a worse dragon punch option because he lacks the ultra. So if he is throwing a lot of fireballs, you can feel much more confident jumping them for damage.[/details]

Chun

[details=Spoiler]

I dont have too many tricks versus chun, this is a hard matchup, but I will try to think of some stuff. My main opponent for this was a player named NinjaCW, fairly good Chun and he learned the Sakura matchup pretty well.

-Chun can focus your cr.mk, backdash, then block the shouken. This sucks.
-if chun is too aggressive behind her fireballs, you can ex tastu or hk tatsu over them.
-cr.mp will stuff a lot of pokes you might not think it would by dropping her hammer fist down on the tips. Often this will link to shouken as well.
-Her anti air isnt great, and if you can force her to choose dedicated ground pokes, you can often start pressure this way.
-Safe jump her ex bird kick, then punish with crouch hp, ex tatsu, ultra.

This match is very hard for me. Chun li has fantastic pokes, a great backdash for getting out of pressure, and serviceable anti air. Without a dragon punch though, you are much more capable of jumping in if you set up the situation right. Most of my matches against defensive players (generally, the better someone is against sakura, the more defensive they play) involve me slowly attempting to push them into the corner. When chun li is in the corner, her footsie game is weakened, you can use a lot more standing RH, and she cant focus backdash your fireball. Jump ins become brutal as well.

** I am not done with chun yet**[/details]

Blanka

Spoiler

Just doing the tips for now, will get to the rest in time.
-Jump RH beats electricity clean at certain ranges.
-Punishing his ultra is easy with your own ultra. Alot of people have ways of avoiding it if you want to avoid the chip, but in general I am more than happy to block and then make him eat my ultra at full damage.

-Blocked upballs are punishable with fierce DP iirc. While you cannot safe jump the blanka ball, you CAN empty jump, and block the blanka ball because if you do not throw an attack you don’t get the 2 frames of vulnerability upon landing.

-This match rapes me harder than any other, the ball is stoppable with jump back RH, crouch fierce, stand fierce, and jabs. If you are jabbing you may eat pokes, if you are blocking you may eat unpunishable chip. Focusing his attacks is great for damage, but risky with balls.

-Screen position is very important in this match, get blanka to the corner, and he can’t ball you anymore. Don’t let him ex rainbow out for free.

-cr.lk, cr.lp, cr.hp, ex.tatsu often fucks up against blanka. Go for the stand HP B&B wherever possible.

Dhalsim

Spoiler

I will give the full dl on this later, I played against arturo quite alot to get this matchup down, and now have little to no problem with sims. For now just quick tips.

-Many sims will have trouble anti airing your jump HK and HP. Air to air jump Lk is great for crossing sim up and beating his air limbs. Plus you can crossup on hit.

-If sim jumps back and back teleports you can often fierce dp him. If he does jump HP you can crouch hp. If he does nothing you can fierce dp him.

-EX otoshi is important in this matchup, don’t let sim throw too many long range fireballs. When he loses his chip, you can keep the match slow, safely.

-Empty jumping is great, many of his anti airs that beat your jump ins can be empty jumped, especially back strong.

-You can walk forwards cr.mk -> shouken -> FADC ect. if he tries to teleport out of any of your mixups and rushdowns. This is especially great against sim because it pushes him into the corner, keeps you on him with more mixups, and does great damage, possibly stun for victory if you stun count.

-If he teleports behind you to try and get out of the corner, cr.hp him and move forwards to apply more pressure. If its a really slick sim, be ready for a second teleport back as soon as he hits the ground. Don’t let him get away.

-If he ultras, you can ex shou through it, it will probably be blocked and punished, but that might be better than eating the ultra.

-You can probably also punish teleports back with a jumpin hk.

-Don’t crossup too often, or he will get all his screen positioning back with a teleport. When he does this, he does not have to guess your crossup, the game automatically goes backwards from where he faces. Its hard to explain, but it pretty much works out that he is always far away from you.

-Super is a dangerous anti air, check his meter.

-Mix up your jump ins with jump in tatsu. It works really well against sims with all tatsu characters, sakura is no exception. What could have been an empty jump can easily become a tatsu into pressure.

-Standard ryu type anti sim gameplay works well.

-If he tries iyo yoga tower bs, crouch hp into lk tatsu. That should shut him up.

Zangief

Spoiler

What tips can I give here that haven’t already been given? You guys kinda beat this one into the ground.

-He will try to trade his standing strong against your crouch mk. Without the fadc combo, these trades will probably not work out in your favor and you lose the match. With the FADC it completely changes the match.

-Anti air with neutral jump mk, standing far fierce, crouch fierce, and jab dp. You need to vary your anti air because just crouch fierce is very easy to empty jump.

-I don’t even try offense against gief, some people do. Beats me how it works.

-Taunt number 3 can be canceled to get under giefs lariat into crouch mk at a range where crouch mk won’t work.

-He will gain alot of meter with KKK lariat if you let him. Punish it with fierce or Medium dp.

-If he has 3 bars and you are expecting a ex hand fadc from him, neutral jump. The hand will whiff, he won’t be able to fadc, and you get a neutral RH into combo.

-All hands are punishable by stand HP -> B&B on block. All hands except ex are punishable by the same thing on hit.

Guile

Spoiler

I can’t remember ever having enough trouble with this match to come up with tricks. Best I can think is uh…

-Crossing up his flash kick is really easy. Like really really easy.

-His punishes suck, you can be more dangerous than normal.

Thats all I got, I don’t think I have ever lost to a guile. Like ever.

E.Honda

Spoiler

Honda is tough. If a honda can jab into Fierce HHS, you are in a bit of trouble.

-You may or may not be able to use liberal fireballs in this match. If the honda can reaction jump over your fireballs, which seems very possible for him, then you will have to tone them back, which makes the match alot harder.

-If honda tries to neutral jump Fierce punch, use the correct dp to reach him. You won’t get too much damage, but at least you will go a ways to remove that from his movelist. He will likely do this over fireballs.

-Crouch fierce can beat buttslam pretty easily.

-I haven’t found any great way to punish his headbutts. Some people have spoke of fierce dp working. I have had MP dp work about 60% of the time, but the other percentage he gets hit and not launched, and you eat a big combo. Fierce dp is almost twice as slow as mp dp though, just something to consider.

-I think ex headbutt may get him out of your crossup pressure.

-If you feel that ochio throw coming, you can either backdash or neutral jump. Neutral jump gives you the combo, backdash is the safer option. Might as well throw an option select in your backdash as well. Why not?

Balrog

Spoiler

First off, on my soap box, I would like to say that the American names for the bosses are years better than the Japanese names. Even phonetically speaking the stuff matches up, Balrog sounds good for a brutal boxer. I am tired of seeing the japanese names thrown around everywhere. Look I speak fluent Japanese but I don’t use the Japanese names because that shit is gay, so I am going to stick with the American names without even the Boxer/Claw/ect.

Anyhow…

-Against rog, he often will push you out of range for your big combos on wakeup with his balrog step back for no reason. This sucks and can turn your cr.lk, cr.lp, cr.hp combo into whiff. You could possible start with cr.lp into cr.hp, but then you miss out on the ability to beat out headbutt. All around shitty. I usually forget during this match and end up going for cr.lk, cr.lp, cr.mk, although as I am writing this maybe going for cr.mk -> lk tatsu might be good as well, although I am not sure how that fairs against ex headbutt.

-I have read before from ultra david (awesome information from him), that you don’t want to crossup Balrog, just keep the pressure going straight. With Sakura, I don’t agree. Maybe you want to crossup less with more safe jumps, but without her crossup mixup, she is really hurting for damage, and his cr.lp will push out your normal pressure for scary damage. A good strategy against a rog that uses headbutt to run away from pressure is to do something that looks like it will crossup but won’t (make sure you don’t use an attack to give you a 2f greater leeway in your timing), land from side, block headbutt -> win round.

-After ex tastu stuff I often go with cr.lk, cr.lp ect. to stuff the headbutt if its not ex. Does he get the extra step back during these air neutral setups? Someone verify please, I don’t have the game.

-Neutral jump is great, her n.jump HK hits very low for solid damage if he tries to dash punch, so if you feel a dash punch coming, neutral jump is a solid option. If he tries to dash punch the recovery, you can switch between attacking or not to make it mostly safe (since he can’t punish the recovery of a jump with no attack, only hit it in the air).

-Here is a mother load, dash straight is punishable on block! If he is close enough for your far standing lk (which is prety far), you can far standing lk, ex tatsu! Very hard to time because its a 1 frame without the possibility of plinking, but if you are having alot of trouble with rog, go to training mode and practice this. It pretty much stops his ability to put pressure on, completely slows down the match, and will screw over any rog that doesn’t have serious sakura practice.

-Most rogs think they can just jump in on you like they can other characters. This is not the case, you can effectively anti air the stupid shit he does. Don’t be afraid to mess with timing and spacing of crouch hp.

-Option select throw break in guard stun is SO GOOD against rog. It should be a staple.

-You may have to use a bit more of standing HK than you would like against rog to deal with his cr. hk.

-Throwing out cr.mk -> lp/mp/ex tatsu when looking for dashpunches is a good idea. Most of the time the weaker ones will beat the ex dash punch, and the ex always will.

Vega

[details=Spoiler]

Ah Vega…

-You can in general afford to be more crazy in your offense against Vega than any other character, even with ultra he has no invunerable attacking moves.

-It doesn’t hurt to think of his KKK flip as a teleport, the properties are surprisingly similar, its just a bad teleport. His PPP flip can generally be reactioned.

-As a Vega player now, against the KKK flip you can jump into combo, which is not good for vega. Against the PPP flip, you can walk with it and punish, or if you are falling behind hit the end with a hp shouken. The important thing is regrounding, and re-applying pressure.

-Focusing vega’s attacks work great, most are one hitting, his 2 hitting attack only hits twice from close range (his standing HK). Your focus attack also has so much range that you can catch the recovery of pokes most characters can’t, like crouching mp.

-If you knock off his claw, try not to let him get it back. The mask is only important if he has a significant amount of health left.

-If he does wall dive shit at you, you can cr.hp it almost every time. Jump forwards mp isn’t bad to throw in there. If you hit the cr.hp make sure you get on him and increase the pressure. Her Focus is also good against him because you get so low its hard to izuna drop, which is his focus breaker in this case.

-Yeah you really don’t need that many tips to beat him that I can think about, the key is being offensive.

Ahh laptop power is about to die, will finish later…[/details]


#4

Can’t believe I needed this, I will have needed more if I ever wanted to finish this, didn’t know the limit was so small, oh well. Here is SAGAT THE FAGGOT.

Sagat

Spoiler

Oh Geez, I can’t believe I am going back to writing a few of these, but I think I have swine flu, so before I possibly die I will try to write one or two more. I played sf4 for the first time in a while at a friends house because people wanted to see my sakura, so that also got me thinking about this thread. Got the fadc combo on my first try somehow, I will chalk that to luck though.

Anyhow, I played tons against sagat when I was actually playing sakura. I mean, everyone has I am sure. The sagats I played against were pretty mean sagat players, Ramza and Steve H. For my money, Steve H. was the most difficult player I have played against as Sakura in this game. More difficult than Auturo, or even Justin Wong (Though I played against Wong much earlier in the games lifespan). The reason is, Steve H loved time outs. He would sit down, and just block and break throws, scare you with the possibility of dp fadc ultra so you would back down from your offense earlier than you would like, and he would start chipping away. Now obviously, in many ways this match is similar to ryu, powerful fireballs, a good dragon punch, dp fadc ultra, so I don’t need to go into the obvious overlap too much.

Ok, so what would happen in this match? A sagat player would want to throw fireballs for chip damage, this is his goal in the match if he is playing the match well, period. After seeing wongs SB4 matches, you may think, hey, its a good idea to EX hurricane through his fireballs on reaction! Well, the problem with this is that fei longs chicken wing kick is invul frame one, your EX hurricane is invul to fireballs frame 7. This means you have 6 less frames to react to your opponents fireballs than Justin Wong did, and even with Justin’s great reactions, he was having a difficult time. Beyond this, Sagat’s fireballs come out 1-2 frames faster than Ryu’s as well, at 11-12 frames. At close range, 12 frames is impossible to react to. Add in the 7 frames before you get invul, and you are sitting pretty around a 5 frame reaction? Not including button inputs? Seems unlikely. Luckily the farther you are, the more time you have to react (it takes time for the fireball to reach you.) That being said, I have never found a range where reaction EX HKing sagats fireballs became practical, and I tried alot of different ranges.

Ok, so I bursted a small possibility, but the EX HK does have its use. Like I mentioned earlier in the guide (I think), it can server as a faster, safer jump in attempt, with worse rewards. It is safer in the way that it is more difficult to dragon punch, especially against an opponent who is not used to sakura, and it comes out faster than most of your jump attacks, meaning that you can be slightly less precise in your guesses of fireballs. These are useful, and the +4 on block lets you start many different offensive plans.

Another, more obvious solution to attempt to stop fireballs is to jump at him. For this your move of choice is going to be jump HK. If you see someone throw a low tiger, and you jumped but think you will not reach his low profile in time to hit him, don’t fear! There is actually a frame or two where he is standing and unable to block after a low tiger shot! You see this frame matter alot in the stupid ass sagat/sagat tiger shot matches, where the low tiger shot dude still gets hit. This isn’t like some of my other more difficult frame or two advice points, because your jump hk is fairly meaty, you can just throw it out there, the timing is simple.

Things get a bit more difficult if you guessed wrong about the fireball. You can try a jump Hk if you think the sagat player may not know the correct timing/have the reaction for dping that jump move, at the very least you will get blockstun. Against people used to the matchup, you will rarely get this blockstun, because if the opponent is blocking, that means he could have been dping. Don’t fret too much though, because even in the Sabre vs Valle match I watched (didn’t watch all the matches if it was a set, it might have changed), Sabre got a NUMBER of jump HK’s blocked, giving him frame advantage and initiative. Sooner or later though, you will run up against a sagat who will be more than happy to meet your jumpin with dragon punches 100%. Against these people, it is possible to try and save your botched jump with an air hk hurricane, or even a Kara Ex hurricane kick if you feel spicy. This won’t get you around all dragon punches, specifically his rather nasty lp one, but it gives you perhaps a fighting chance.

Now, without using jumps to combat the fireball barrage, you can attempt to poke his limps, and hopefully force a game of footsies. If you manage to tag his limbs, the usual fadc combo is great if you can do it, really turns the tide of the match, and the matchup in general. If not you will get at least decent damage. One possible issue is that you might get whiff punished, his standing lk has great range, combos into ex tiger, and is almost un-whiffpunishable itself. That being said, this is a worry with many characters. Outside of cr.mk, stand RH works fairly well against sagat. He has poor footsies and pokes in general, so you can harass him in general, and move him to the corner, building you meter.

Once he is in the corner, can has more trouble backdashing out of your pressure, giving you a good advantage on pressure, and he can’t walk backwards out of your poking distance (not that he is terribly good at this to begin with).

You still will face the same general issue, it is hard to chip him, hard to jump in on him, and he can put those fireballs in your face for chip with a low frequency and still come out on top. Now because he has poor pokes, it is easier to walk in (walk the mile, because that’s how long it feels like it takes to cover it) and get into either a frame advantage move’s range, or throw range. This means you have to scare sagat from using his stand lk and crouch hp long enough to get in range, and you do that with your own pokes, namely crouch mk, stand RH, and stand lk, blah blah blah basic ideas for getting in and I have too much of a headache to keep explaining.

This is the gist of the matchup, if your sagat is too uppity, shut that fucker up with more jumps. Do your combos, rock his face with your boot. If he is really patient and solid on his dp’s, push him to the corner slowly, don’t take too many risks, and hope that you are irish, because you are going to need that luck to get in there.

Once you are in, standard rushdown works somewhat well with some kinks. First, for a positive note, sagat is a tall character with poor walking speed, this means unlike almost all other characters you can reset with crossups against sagat. I should have also mentioned this in the breaking the turtle part. What I mean by reset with crossups, is that in the middle of your pressure, you can use a properly spaced jump to negate all anti airs except for a really early lp tiger uppercut, a psychic stand rh, or a really late tiger upper cut. Most characters can simple walk forwards, and due to sakura poor rear hitbox on jump LK, cause her to whiff and punish the recovery. Sagat just can’t walk fast enough, and his tall hitbox makes him easier to hit with the crossup to begin with. You can do fun stuff like cr.lk, cr.lp x however many it takes, jump crossup lk repeat.

Now for the negative of rushing down sagat, tiger uppercut is far and away the biggest deterrent of frame traps in the game. It is the same as others, except the HUGE damage, and huge ice cream scooper range pushes the nash equilibrium towards a more go for broke style of offense. What I mean by this is you do less of a barrage of stand lps, waits, crouch lks, walk forwards, ect, instead taking your risk earlier. Whereas against a character with a weaker dp character, you may throw a large number of poke holes to bait the option select throw, against sagat you will throw less. I can’t tell you how many holes to put, that is simply and intuition that comes from playing the game, and we all have our own styles. There IS a correct answer, mathmatically speaking, I just don’t know it, and don’t have patience to number crunch it out to any degree of reliability. The ice cream scooper range is bad because it catches your backdash. Against like ryu, you may throw a few jabs, then backdash hoping he dp’s. This takes away his ability to fadc, giving you full combo. Against sagat, you are just going to have to block (there are sillier options, but they are not worth mentioning), sagat then either gets away only 50% SC gauge down (as opposed to 50% health gauge down +mixup), or he is going to attempt to rush you down. IIRC he is not +frames after his dp mixups, or maybe +1. Either way just late option select, it will probably save you from anything he does post fadc forwards.

Ok what else could I possibly cover in this matchup? It is fairly simple really, all of SF4 is. Uhhh, I guess I would say, this is probably your hardest matchup if the sagat is patient, and definitely highlights the flaws of sakura. This is also part of the reason I keep screaming mk tatsu +3 on hit in the improvement thread. That move is slightly harder to see than HK tatsu from decent distances, and nothing combos into it. I would also extend its projectile invul from frame 7 on, and make the second hit either 90 or 120 (mostly for chip damage). But it is easy to see how this could affect the matchup, suddenly sagat is SOMEWHAT forced to make moves, guessing or even REACTING his fireballs from the perfect range (this might be overkill) is possible, and you can do respectable chip safely, as that move also has decent pushback. Even if you couldn’t react the fireballs, just having a fairly safe way to mix it up and put the chip damage scare back on him sounds great. I don’t care about a lopsided matchup, I just care about boring matchups, and this one takes the cake.

Last one for possible space, you can post now if you feel so inclined


#5

LOL. This is going to be totally unrelated to the thread but how the hell does someone go from Sakura to Vega? I mean some of the Japanese Vega players still have me seeing the light in him but I personally would give up on SFIV before maining Vega. I never really liked the way Vega played at a high level any ways. Sakura IMO is a pretty fun character in this game or at least she would fit my style of play. Too bad flashy ass Guilty Gear/SNK Viper is in the game to keep me from seeing the light in any of the other characters.

Good look on this thread BTW. Might as well understand a bit more myself on how Sakura is to be played.


#6

What’s crazy is, I was actually thinking last night about asking your opinion on making one of these since IMO most people aren’t playing her right at all

great work


#7

Vega is cool. He is so beautiful he has to wear a mask to protect his face. Now that is a character I can relate to. Sakura becomes much much less fun the more defensive your opponent is. Her offense becomes stale as you are forced to take safe options. This is not the case with Vega. Great kara throw, option select throw break counters, and long range frame advantage moves make him even better against defensive players!

I honestly think he is a better character than Sakura, maybe a whole tier up, although that had no bearing in my decision, I just choose him because he is the coolest. That is usually why I choose characters, Sakura was an experiment, and I learned my lesson. Choose the cool ones. I will have to show you what Day 3 Vega can do next time I play you. I will give you the spoiler on Viper xx Sakura, 214 LP is very hard for sakura to deal with.

Edit for flamingo: Glad I could help out, I wasn’t sure how many people would understand my arguments, but if I help one or two people carry on the torch, then thats awesome!


#8

I actually think Vega is one of her harder matchups cuz his pokes are just so much better than Sakuras. Technically I don’t think there’s a right way to play Sakura. I think it’s more learning the right tools for her to make her play effective.


#9

I would like to avoid posts like “There are no tiers”, “Anyone can win”, “There is no right way” ect. Those don’t really further conversation.

As for the vega part, I find his poor anti air, coupled with his inability to escape pressure, make him one of her easiest matchups. Add on low stun and losing a mask and he can really get dropped in no time.


#10

All this is referred for Offline right? Cuz that BnB combo u posted…i would never do online haha.


#11

I did all of my combos online and offline, with maybe a 5% decrease in success rate while online. I would suggest the same for others, learning two different playstyles is counterproductive, and these combos are very doable online with P-linking, as long as you only play 3 bar or higher.


#12

I recommend to all players who want to actively try and compete at tournaments to stop playing/taking online seriously for practice, it is nothing but a detriment to your execution.


#13

eh? He backflips out of everything I try, seemingly for free… Is there a way to punish that flip?


#14

I also used to think Claw’s backflip was pretty gdlk…but the recovery isn’t too great and it is very possible that the backflip is the exact response your opponent wants during pressure strings. Forget trying to backflip when in the corner. There are options, but just not as free as we would like to think (as in, say, Akuma’s teleport).

Great read on this Sak write-up Destin. I rarely visit the Sak threads, but I have always considered her a ‘cool’ character =)


#15

Holy crap he’s from Norfolk!

Anyways very informative. I’ll be tackling this stuff later tonight. Shame you’re leaving Sak, but I think Vega needs great players as well.


#16

Which one? PPP, the double, walk forwards with it, at the last second, crouch mk, HP shouken, FADC, Stand HP, lk tatsu, cr.hp, ex tatsu, jump RH, mixup, victory. I think the KKK one is punishable in much the same way, but requires tighter execution. At the very least you can HP shouken FADC ect. it, but the cr.mk is nice to have for additional hit confirm and timing. Hopefully I will cover this if I get around to doing vega under character specifics.


#17

cool, now I just have to wait another 2 weeks before I run into another vega player online and I can practice that, :rofl:


#18

We don’t need to hear strategies from a traitor. >:D

Just kidding, great work. Sad to hear you are abandoning everyone’s favorite schoolgirl but I guess people gotta move on. (even if it’s SF4 <.<)

As for your post, wouldn’t FADC’ing an EX SRK, then doing the usual BnB use up the entire super bar? I rarely get any higher than 3 bars, let alone the full bar.

And I’m guilty of spamming otoshis after an EX tatsu. Haha.


#19

for vegas backflip i just hadouken… because he hadouken is so slow, it ALWAYS hits him after coming out of the backflip… i get vegas to stop flipping on me after they eat a few hadoukens.

also as for chun… when doing the EX tatsu -> j.lk -> mixup game… a lot of chuns will try to catch you withe the EX bird kick… if you walk under and then neutral jump HK… it will override her EX bird kick everytime… i have chuns rage at me when i do that

you can also level 1 FADC to a backdash kens f.mk. A LOT of kens love to throw out a DP if you FA their f.mk if you hit them with the FA and then dash back the DP will whiff and that leaves you open to a free combo


#20

not to mention cr.hp > any kind wall dive shenanigans

great write up destin, I’d love to hear more from you so the sf4 community can level up

EDIT: It seems like you’re a pretty big advocate of s.hp > sakuraness but I thought it was best to use cr.hp to force them to stand?