13. Safe jumps
Read this: http://forums.shoryuken.com/t/stop-being-a-freebuki-advanced-play-thread/116907/437
Not much to say here except hit up that training room and record/playback all day. You’ll want to pick Yun to be the one to test your safe jumps; not just because he’s a faggot and all he does is mash upkicks, but because he has both a 4f dp (EX upkicks) and a 5f dp (LK upkicks), and also he has standard wakeup timing.
A small tip for when you’re whiffing a normal to time your safe jump correctly, is to plink it. It’s a link like any other link and plinking (or even double tapping) will be helpful here.
Eventually when you have trained enough, you won’t even have to record/playback, and you’ll just simply know if your safe jump timing was correct or not by looking at where the blue circle appears (that thing that shows up when your opponent blocks an attack) on your opponent.
Coming out of this training, you should at the very least be able to safe jump off of neckbreaker, EX neckbreaker, raida, and forward throw knockdowns. You’ll be getting these kinds of knockdowns all the time and it’s vital that you have a safe jump setup ready to go when needed.
Additional note: if you don’t have a human friend to help you train, you might find it helpful to practice with Zangief as the dummy. What you do is record him crouch blocking, or stand blocking, doesn’t really matter, and then mash PPP Lariat. As playback you constantly try to safe jump him. What happens is that Zangief will/should end up doing random wakeup Lariats if you mashed hard enough so he will reversal time it every time. Other times, he will wake up crouch blocking to practice your followup combo, or he will stand block to practice your followup blockstring. One benefit of this is that his Lariat is 4f startup, so you will end up testing your safe jump with perfect timing. You can only test a few safe jumps on Zangief, but the Neckbreaker safe jump is invaluable and a must learn for any Ibuki master.
14. Option selects
First I want to say that when doing option selects or practicing option selects, you should stay focused on what you want to do. Us human beings are usually not very good at visualizing multiple situations at the same time. Consider the standard, universal option select: crouch tech. When you’re doing crouch tech, you’re usually not thinking about whether your opponent is going to do nothing, frame trap, or throw you. Nope, you’re most likely just sitting there, focused on blocking, getting stuck in block stun, and then timely pressing (not mashing!) crouch tech in case of a throw. Your focus is on blocking, but in case your opponent throws you, your option select will take care of the rest.
This sort of thing will be incredibly important because doing option selects should ideally, not affect your focus or your attention. When you’re doing a safe jump, you shouldn’t be thinking about “reacting” to your opponent backdashing or anything like that. That’s why you’re doing the option select; so you don’t have to, and you can just worry about doing that tick throw setup you were planning, or that frame trap you had in mind.
When you get to the advanced level and use your creative mind to experiment or come up with new option selects, then you should think about all the different possibilities and what you expect to happen. This kind of mindset is necessary for conjuring up new, creative option selects, but is much too demanding on the human brain. When you’re doing/practicing option selects, again just stay focused on what you want to do and let the option select handle the rest.
Crouch tech. Easily the most important option select every player should master, no matter what character you play. Even if you play Zangief, you’re going to need to learn how to tech basic throw setups without having to resort to SPD or ultra or Lariat or any other incredibly punishable and bait-able reversal.
I’m going to assume you know what crouch tech is and how it works. If not, basically you try to throw when you’re crouching. If this isn’t detailed enough for you, just look it up on the Youtubes or something. Again, if you can get a human opponent/friend to help you train, this will help a lot. If not, it’s not too big of a deal.
So to start, what you want to do is record the dummy or have your friend doing a basic tick throw setup. Let’s say your opponent is Ryu, who probably has the simplest throw/frame trap setups in the game. Record him doing point blank cr.LP immediately followed by throw. The gap between the cr.LP and throw should be very small, but one way to ensure it isn’t too large is by trying to hit Ryu with something like cl.st.LP (3f startup) in between the cr.LP and throw. If you were able to hit him before he throws you, your recorded tick throw setup is too large.
Once you try teching, you’ll notice that sometimes you get thrown even though you inputted crouch tech. That is because you timed it wrong. Hopefully you’re in the training room, offline, so there is no excuse for lag. And hopefully your controller/stick isn’t malfunctioning, so there’s no input lag. And hopefully your HDTV/monitor isn’t laggy, so there’s little to no input lag there. The only issue then lies with you, the player. So then what you need to realize is why you’re getting thrown. If you see the cr.LK animation start before immediately getting thrown, then that means you teched way too early. He wasn’t throwing you yet, so your crouch tech turned into cr.LK. 1 or 2 frames later, now he’s throwing you, but your cr.LK is still starting up so you just get thrown. If you don’t see your cr.LK animation, then you probably teched too late. For reference, the typical tech throw window is about 10 frames.
Anyways, once you feel comfortable teching this basic tick throw setup, it’s time to mix it up a little bit. To start, record Ryu doing the same tick throw setup, followed by walk up , cr.LP , cr.LP. Make sure the cr.LP are linked and not chained. To ensure they are linked, try letting go of block between the two cr.LP’s. You should get hit. If not, then you were stuck in blockstun because the cr.LP’s were chained. Once you have the dummy recorded properly you can begin practicing your crouch tech again. The idea here is that it forces you to time your crouch techs properly, so that simple block strings like cr.LP , cr.LP don’t become automatic frame traps for your opponent.
Eventually you’ll want to move up into setups with larger gaps, such as cr.LP , cr.MP and cr.LK , cr.MP. I actually use these two setups a lot. cr.LP is +2 on block, and cr.MP is 4f startup. The gap here is about 2f. cr.LK is -1 on block, and cr.MP is 4f startup, so the gap here is about 5f. If you can successfully tech cr.LK , tick throw setups, and still block cr.LK , cr.MP setups, I would consider you crouch tech certified. Yes I know that Ryu can even further up his frame trap game, increasing the gap to catch your crouch tech, but this actually puts Ryu at an increasing risk. The cr.LK , cr.MP setup is already not 100% safe, since you can actually throw him out of it. With a 5f gap there is a small incentive for your opponent to push buttons early and hit him out of it, and with an even larger gap, the chance of getting hit out of your throw setup is very high.
Last thing I want to note is that you might get used to the dummy doing the same setup over and over in the exact same order. To remedy this, do a random combo on your opponent or knock him down or something. What this does is sort of pseudo-randomizes the next setup the dummy will do. Since the playback is always playing back actions no matter what’s going on, the random combo will skip over a random amount of the playback so that hopefully the next setup will be unknown.
cr.LP xx cr.LP + cr.HK. Probably the second most important option select every player should master, since again this option select applies to almost every character in almost every matchup. If you don’t know what this option select is for, it’s a basic option select to stop your opponent from backdashing.
So what you do is record the dummy executing the option select, and then on playback, you try to backdash out. If you have a friend with you, your friend will be randomly backdashing and sometimes blocking, while you practice the option select over and over.
For this option select, and most option select practicing, I would suggest recording a basic knockdown, like forward throw or something, walking up and then doing a meaty cr.LP. You want to make sure the cr.LP is meaty otherwise the option select might not work properly. To test if your cr.LP was meaty, you should wake up crouching. If you end up taking the cr.LP hit while standing despite holding down, that means the cr.LP was meaty since it hit you on your very first frame on wakeup (where you’re standing).
Ok, great, so the next step is just executing the option select. The end result should be you recording the dummy doing
forward throw , walk up , meaty cr.LP xx cr.LP + cr.HK
and then on playback you try crouching on wakeup to ensure it is meaty and that you get cr.LP xx cr.LP, and then wakeup backdash to test the cr.HK option select.
This option select is relatively easy to “debug”. Either the cr.HK comes out when you backdash, or it doesn’t, meaning that you didn’t input it correctly. Eventually, you should be good enough that you can simply execute the option select setup over and over, and ONLY have to go to playback when you feel like you didn’t execute it correctly; or just go to playback at random times to ensure you’re on the right track. When you’re confident in your option select execution and that you’re able to do it several times in a row without having think about it, I would consider you good to go.
Throw , (insert option select here)
This is a very easy option select to do but can vary a lot depending on what you expect from your opponent. Basically, if your opponent is in the corner for example, then they should either tech the throw, get thrown, or avoid it somehow. If they avoid it, then the throw whiffs. If the throw whiffs, then your option select comes out, and hopefully your option select will punish their escape attempt. In the corner, the most common escape attempt is either a jump or neutral jump, not including reversals. If your opponent did a reversal, you’ll get hit whether you option select or not anyways. If they try to jump to avoid the throw, or even backdash, a simple st.HK or cl.st.HK will punish this.
I say this option select is very easy because the throw animation is usually very long, giving you a lot of time to do whatever option select you want. It has more to do with you expecting either a throw or teched throw, or otherwise not bothering to option select anything and just waiting to react to the whiffed throw, when you can just option select something to cover your opponent’s escape attempt.
One trick you can use is to first pick Ibuki and keep immediately whiffing a throw and then neutral jumping. Keep trying this over and over. A whiffed throw is about half a second before you can do anything. The point of this is to familiarize yourself what this half second feels like.
Ok, kind of simple, now do a real throw on your opponent and wait half a second and then pause. Look at the throw animation. This is what you should wait for until you input your option select. Using the record/playback feature instead of trying to instinctively time half a second might also help a little bit.
As Ibuki, this option select might not see very much use, compared to other throw-based characters, like maybe Zangief. Nonetheless, considering its simplicity, it shouldn’t take very long to learn.
st.MP xx (insert option select here)
I got this idea of training when someone brought up “Juri can get out of vortex with parry and then neutral jump and punish your kunai vortex!”, and then the outdated meaty cr.MP xx Tsumuji xx Neckbreaker option select setup vs Bipson. And I thought to myself, there must be better option selects than that, and there must be a simple way of practicing them. Well here you go.
So the difference here is that st.MP has a lot of hitstop frames that you must get used to. It is actually possible to time your option select so early that nothing even comes out, unlike the cr.LP xx cr.LP setup where it’s usually hard to mash cr.LP so fast that the second cr.LP doesn’t come out (since I think it can even chain on whiff?).
Anyways, the first exercise you should do is purposely whiffing a st.MP, and then doing something. It doesn’t necessarily have to be your option select, just something visible. The point of this is to know when the animation for st.MP is over and then you can input your option select. Initially I would start doing it as fast as possible. You should expectedly only get st.MP, even though you might be doing something like st.MP xx st.LP. Then, very slowly, and very repetitively, you should delay your followup input more and more so that you can get a feel of the timing when st.MP ends and then you can do something.
Since st.MP is not special cancellable, it is relatively easy to do something like st.MP option select Neckbreaker or option select Command Dash with st.MP xx Special timing. Basically you pretend that st.MP is special cancellable like cr.MP or something and just input your special at the point you probably might do it if it was special cancellable. This is okay and all, but the above advice I give applies to everything. If you were doing something like whiffed cr.LP , option select Command Dash, it is absolutely crucial that you know exactly when cr.LP ends so that you don’t do it too early and end up cancelling it into a Command Dash anyways.
Anyways, once you have a good feel of a whiffed st.MP, then you can start recording and playing back. Again, do a simple knockdown setup like forward throw, walk up then do a meaty st.MP followed by your option select. Start with a simple option select, like Command Dash or something, or even a sweep. After each playback, try wakeup blocking and wakeup backdash or whatever to test your option select. Eventually you should get good enough to do complicated option selects like st.MP xx Neckbreaker, or even st.MP xx U2. st.MP has a lot of hitstop frames, so you actually have a lot more leniency in timing your inputs, compared to say, cr.LP , option select U2.
cr.LP + advanced option selects
Let’s say you know absolutely for sure your opponent will be backdashing, and a simple sweep isn’t going to cut it. After all, sweep only does like 100 dmg, and a reversal usually does a hell of a lot more than that, forcing you to be more careful on your pressure game. Nonono. You are Ibuki. You are a rushdown character. You should be making your opponent afraid to do anything on wakeup besides block. So here I introduce some of the more advanced option selects.
One thing you can do is option select command dash, probably your safest option should you happen to mess up. Another thing you can do is option select Neckbreaker. You can also option select U2. The possibilities are endless, assuming your inputs are fast enough and well timed.
The first thing you should get acquainted with doing is cr.LP xx st.LK. Your LK button is going to be the primary basis of most if not all of these option selects. When you’re doing this, notice that cr.LP xx st.LK actually chains on whiff, not just on block. This is important in case you question wtf happens when you put Ibuki on playback. Now, get used to doing cr.LP , st.LK. Or rather, get used to doing cr.LP , LK cd as fast as possible, but still not getting cr.LP xx st.LK. You’ll notice that if you do it as fast as possible, you’ll get cr.LP xx st.LK because chaining takes priority on whiff.
So what’s the point of this? The timing for a cr.LP xx st.LK is actually the same (or very close to it) for cr.LP xx Special. Obviously we don’t want this, as this would make our option select come out prematurely. Practicing the cr.LP , LK cd timing vs cr.LP xx st.LK timing with the same LK cd input will be crucial so that you don’t do something like cr.LP xx Neckbreaker when cr.LP is blocked, ending up with a horribly punished or dead Ibuki.
Ok, great, excellent. Now that that is out of the way, we can devote ourselves toward some option select training. Initially I would suggest you start with the dummy on autoblock and then you try to execute the option select over and over again. At this point, you should be at least somewhat decent with executing option selects, at least the cr.LP xx cr.LP + cr.HK option select. And considering cr.LP little hitstop, making sure that your timing is correct is more important than making sure the option select comes out if your opponent backdashes. After all, letting your opponent get out of pressure is better than messing up your option select ultra and getting horribly raped for it.
So anyways, with enough practice, I think option select Neckbreaker and Command dash should be relatively easy to pull off. Once you start practicing option select U2 (which should be your end goal imo) then you might have to worry about inputting your directionals so fast that you accidentally negative edge. Once you are comfortable with at least option select Neckbreaker timing, you can start doing record/playback again. Your end goal should be option select U2, as nothing says “STOP BACKDASHING” better than an ultra to the face.