Devote Yourself to Your Training! Ibuki Training Regimen

ibuki

#1

In case anybody is wondering, the thread title quote is from 3rd strike.


A crude checklist of what it takes to master Ibuki, from noob to pro.

Feel free to add ideas, especially ideas on how to practice each specific area.

edit: as per request, I also added a section on what NOT to do with Ibuki.


Training with an Ibuki noob!
Beginner match analysis / gameplay critique thread
Gen player wanting to pick up Ibuki
Ibuki checklist?
Did anyone else have terrible execution when they first started to learn SF4?
What to do on a knockdown opponent?
What steps do you take when learning a new character? (AE)
Re-learning the game after years of bad fundamentals
How to Akuma? Pls Help!
training regimen
Ibuki Critique Thread ver.2
Ibuki Training
Looking for Love: Ibuki General Discussion Thread
Ibuki Q&A Thread: Ask simple questions here!
Looking for Love: Ibuki General Discussion Thread
Learning characters (SSFIVAE)
Ibuki Critique Thread ver.2
The Shinobi Secrets: Ibuki Video Thread
Ibuki Player Guide Rev 3 up to date?
Ibuki Q&A Thread: Ask simple questions here!
#2

You didn’t have to listen to me, but it’s a good list to learn from haha.


#3

Looks great. Maybe under step 14, you can add the option select for hk Command Dash, against teleporters


#4

Ultra 2ing Guile sonic boom should be #16.


#5

I’m sure option select neckbreaker catches everyone’s teleport except maybe Akuma’s. And you can probably catch his with a slight delay, or simply reaction neckbreakering.

Anyways, I added the neckbreaker vs Akuma thing.

Pretty much impossible unless you’re predicting it, which is outside the scope of this checklist.

Or unless the Guile you play is bad and doesn’t know how to fake.


#6

:slight_smile: I love you Mingo for putting SJC U1 in there.

After a bit of discussion this would be a good page to put into the Ibuki PLAYER GUIDE Rev.3, with perhaps a “topics covered” system (like bolding sentences).

Although my teaching method is VERY different from this.


#7

This checklist isn’t really “teaching” anything. It’s simply a list of things that one must master in order to master Ibuki.


#8

I think we should have checklist of what not to do with Ibuki


#9

^ I’m on it. See the bottom of the checklist.


#10

I can’t see the link

Sent from my evo 3d using Tapatalk


#11

The link works for me. And everyone else. Maybe you’re blocked from Google Docs or something?


#12

I was kinda waiting until I finished this guide/regimen/whatever, but now I see I’m kind of lazy so I’ll just post what I have now and maybe update it eventually.

Also SRK forums apparently has some sort of 20,000 character limit so here I am splitting it into multiple posts. According to libreoffice, it’s at 31,640 characters lol.

Update 2011-11-22: added some more required reading.
Update 2011-11-23: added extra tips in the antiair section; added vortex section. Entire guide now at 46,824 characters, according to LibreOffice.
Update 2012-01-20: added small tip to safe jump section. Filled out section 14, option selects. Added additional required reading. Guide now at 68,468 characters.
Update 2012-11-03: version 0.26. filled out offense section. Added kara throw and cr.HP xx kunai execution. Put the entire OpenOffice document for download on Google Drive.


#13

Devote Yourself to Your Training! Ibuki Training Regimen

(quote from SF3 and SF3: 2nd Impact)

DISCLAIMER: I am not pro. I am not claiming to be pro and I probably will never ever be pro. I am however, very familiar with Ibuki, as I have mained her since day 1 SSF4. And I have a decent competitive gaming background with other games that I know what takes to master something efficiently and as fast as possible. If you think my words are heresy or you don’t want to read this, then don’t, and gtfo.

Lastly, I give no guarantees that you will be better than Daigo after reading and/or following this training regimen. Hopefully this will make you a better player, if you apply it, but at the very least it should make you think twice about training via mass ranked mode matches online. If that doesn’t happen, then you fail.

Terms of Service, Acceptable Use Policy, other legal non-sequitur that nobody ever reads:
d

REQUIRED READING:
Sirlin’s Playing to Win: http://www.sirlin.net/ptw
Maj’s footsies handbook: http://sonichurricane.com/?page_id=1702
SF glossary: http://www.option-select.com/strategy/article/?a=12



I really want to emphasize the importance of tip 5 in the psychological tips guide from SRK. To take a quote from it:

Justin Wong’s three short articles on stepping your game up:
http://www.eventhubs.com/columns/2011/sep/08/step-your-game-chapter-1-training-room/
http://www.eventhubs.com/columns/2011/oct/02/step-your-game-chapter-2-hitting-your-targets/
http://www.eventhubs.com/columns/2011/nov/20/step-your-game-chapter-3-exposure-pressure/

An article that is kind of like my regimen, but more general (not Ibuki specific) and assumes you are trying to get good enough to win tournaments.
http://www.watchdamatch.com/Articles/SSF4/Strategie-Generale/TRAINING-METHODOLOGY-AND-TOURNAMENT-PREPARATION.html
First and foremost, do not worry yourself about Ibuki’s vortex. I repeat, do NOT worry yourself about Ibuki’s vortex. Putting it off later will force you to rely on Ibuki’s other tools, and make you a much more consistent player, instead of possibly using her vortex as a crutch. When you master her other tools and play a solid Ibuki, then you add vortex to your arsenal.

Second, you’re going to lose a lot of your matches when you’re first starting out. That’s fine. You’ll need to learn to take a loss, and lots of them. Losing is learning. http://upstar.hubpages.com/hub/7-things-to-learn-from-losing

Lastly, if you haven’t noticed, most of this training regimen is meant to complement with the Ibuki Checklist, here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1nilZOWczZisvP1KerRh5OOZSGj1vgyeqto_Kk9uA_cs/edit?hl=en_US

Note: the below 1-5 all fall under the category of ‘getting a feel for Ibuki’. This regimen is not necessarily in perfect order, and I do not expect anybody to be memorizing frame data numbers or hitbox/hurtbox pictures when they are first learning Ibuki. Regardless, I kept them together for simplicity’s sake.

1. Understanding Ibuki

Read this: Shinobi Guide: For people who want to learn Ibuki!(Ibuki beginner guide on SRK)
And this: http://www.eventhubs.com/guides/2010/mar/29/ibuki-super-street-fighter-4-moves-combos-strategy-guide/ (Nyoro’s Ibuki guide on Eventhubs)
And finally this: Ibuki Player Guide (book) (Izuna’s Player Guide to Ibuki)

Familiarize yourself with all of Ibuki’s normals, command normals, target combos, specials, EX moves, supers, and ultra. You can do this easily in the training room. In there, go ahead and push every button. Eventually, you should know how to execute all of Ibuki’s moves (eg: dp motion, qcf motion, etc.). And when you’re familiar enough that you can take any Ibuki video and recognize every button that she presses, then you’re good to go. Also try to get acquainted with Ibuki’s mobility: walk speed, dashes, jump, superjump,etc.

Combos: the end of Nyoro’s Ibuki guide on Eventhubs has a short list of Ibuki’s primary combos. A long list of possible combos is also here: Ibuki Combos and Glitches

Hit up that training room and try out some random combos. You don’t have to memorize every combo. Just get an idea of what is combo-able and what isn’t, what combos are easy, which ones are hard, etc. You’ll eventually learn with experience. This is also a good time to master one or two go-to bnbs. Practice doing TC4 and cr.LP , cr.LP , st.MK. Once execution is out of the way, put dummy on random block and try hitconfirming it. Cancel into neckbreaker on hit, and tsumuji on block. Eventually you should be able to do this 100% consistently.

Setups: basically, learn which moves get you an untechable knockdown. And figure out the timing and spacing for each. For example, a tsumuji knockdown knocks your opponent down fairly close to you, but a raida knockdown blasts your opponent far away. Keep messing around until you can reliably do a meaty setup (eg: meaty cr.MP) on their wakeup, for each knockdown.

2. Basic hitbox knowledge
3. Advanced hitbox knowledge

Read this: http://shoryuken.com/forum/index.php?threads/legendary-kunoichi-ibuki-hitbox-thread.103968/
There’s also a collection of hitbox videos for each character (except the AE characters); that’s where these pictures are from. You can probably find them on any torrent site, or maybe through Google. It’s about 9-10 GB.

When watching the videos, or looking at the pictures, take note of the hitbox and hurtboxes of Ibuki. Look at how they change, how they move around etc. You’ll eventually learn most of this through experience, but this is a good way to jump start that.

4. Basic frame data
5. Advanced frame data

Read this: http://wiki.shoryuken.com/Super_Street_Fighter_IV_AE/Ibuki

On a basic level, you should a general idea what is punishable, what stuff starts up fast or slow, has fast or slow recovery, etc. You should also have a general idea of the damage and stun of most Ibuki’s moves, and which ones are special cancellable, and especially which ones are super jump cancellable. When doing this, you can notice that certain combos are useless or obsolete, such as cr.MP xx special vs st.MK xx special (hello Gootecks).

On an advanced level, you should have an idea of your frame advantage or disadvantage on most (if not all) of Ibuki’s moves, so that with a little math fighter you can deduce what normals/setups might be good frame traps or throw setups or etc.

It may be boring to read a sheet of numbers, but if you are planning to go far with this game and Ibuki, you’ll probably be reading frame data all the time.


#14

6. Defense

I suggest learning a good defense before learning a good offense (ignoring the saying: the best defense is a good offense).

Having good blocking skills involves things like teching throws (crouch tech), not panicking, and making smart use of your own defensive tools whether it be cr.LP, FA, backdash, whatever. And lastly, of course, it involves reading your opponent and recognizing blockstrings and patterns.

Thankfully, defense is a universal skill not limited to just Ibuki. Taking a break for Ibuki for awhile, I suggest you hit up multiplayer with a high hp character (since Ibuki has low health and you’ll be purposely be taking a beating), preferably one with just as much a poor reversal game as Ibuki. I usually pick Dudley.

If you can, I suggest you grab a training partner offline and do this in training mode. This way, both of you get to practice: you practice blocking and your opponent practices offense. If this is not possible, then you’ll have to do this online. If you don’t have a training partner (I highly recommend you get some) then you’ll just have to hit up the trusty ranked/endless modes and block those flowchart Kens to death.

If they stop attacking you for some reason, maybe because they’re a charge character or something, then I like to taunt with Dudley’s rose to get them mad, or spam f+HP or jump around and play like an idiot (but still hitting them because I’m abusing the lag), etc. Once they rage, then you can go back to practicing blocking.

7. Offense

Going back to the training room with Ibuki, now we start learning basic Ibuki pressure.

This is a good way to get you brainstorming: Ibuki Blockstrings and Mix-ups

Okay so, I believe the best way to work on your offense is to start with a structured, layered approach. Too often I see people just push random buttons up close, hoping that they hit. Sometimes they do hit, and it doesn’t even get converted into a knockdown. Sometimes you get dp-ed instead, and then you simply label your opponent a dp masher and your offense game falls apart.

So in training room, we’ll start with Ryu as the training dummy, crouching (because crouch vs stand hitboxes are different, and most people crouch block), and finally random block. The random block here is most important as it will force you to hitconfirm your buttons into a knockdown.
The first thing you need to learn how to do is hitconfirm Ibuki’s number 1 bnb: cr.LP , cr.LP , st.MK. This is actually the combo I referred to in section 1.

For simplicity and for now, you can just simply end it with a Tsumuji, like MK Tsumuji. This will help for when you do other setups with different buttons, that you focus on one thing instead of having to worry which ender you want. If Ryu blocks the two cr.LP , cr.LP, you should stop, walk up, and try again. If Ryu gets hit by the two cr.LP’s, you should link st.MK xx Tsumuji. One thing to keep in mind during this training is that the two cr.LP’s should be chained. That is, if Ryu blocks the first cr.LP, he should not get hit by the following cr.LP. This is to help you keep your strings tight, and only leave gaps when you intend to. Lastly, chances are you will quickly get bored of this slow and methodical training, and you will likely insert some random freestyle to spice things up a bit. That’s okay for now, but it’s best to try and stay focused on what you’re training. The point of this exercise is to ingrain specific setups into your mind, and build structure into your offense. Once are you on your way with your structure, you’ll realize that most of your freestyle is basically just autopilot.

Once you are confident in your bnb execution, and your hitconfirm reactions, now we add a layer to what we have just built. Continuing off the cr.LP , cr.LP setup starter, when Ryu blocks it, instead of restarting, you should walk up and throw. So basically, you start with cr.LP , cr.LP , and then
-if Ryu got hit: finish combo with st.MK xx Tsumuji
-if Ryu blocked: walk up throw

This is basically an extension of your hitconfirm setup. After realizing that your opponent is blocking, you attempt a throw. This is already miles ahead of most autopilot players because you are actually paying attention to wtf is going on in game. You don’t let a hit cr.LP go without a knockdown, and you don’t let a blocking player simply downback their way out of your pressure.

Once you are confident with your hitconfirming, now we add yet another layer. This time instead of going for a walk up throw, I want you to go for a walk up st.MP , st.MK xx Tsumuji. Make sure that you are walking up just as much as you would for a throw, otherwise st.MP will likely whiff at too far spacing. The additional benefit of this is that it also shows your walking/standing animation to your opponent, so players will actually be thinking that a throw is coming. So basically, you start with cr.LP , cr.LP , and then
-if Ryu got hit: finish combo with st.MK xx Tsumuji
-if Ryu blocked: walk up st.MP , st.MK xx Tsumuji

This will be your basic frame trap. If you can master this, you will already be miles ahead of every autopilot player, as now you will have the ability to mix up your setups based on what you expect your opponent to do. If you expect them to tech, you use your st.MP frame trap. If you expect them to be afraid of that frame trap, you throw them instead.

So do you see what I mean by having structure to your game? We started with Ibuki’s most basic bnb, and turned it into a scary mixup that can secure another knockdown. Once you have structure based off your bnb, now we can add some “salt and pepper”.

We’ll start with kara throw. Kara throw is imo Ibuki’s best tool when up close, and can single-handedly make people afraid of her throw. I can’t stress how important and useful her kara throw is, and I really wish I saw more Ibukis use it, and abuse it. For the sake of keeping these sections organized, I will assume that your kara throw execution is on point already. If not, refer to the Execution section.

An excellent way to spice up that cr.LP , cr.LP bnb is to simply follow up with an immediate kara throw on block. No walk up necessary when the startup of st.MK will move you close enough anyways. Note that cr.LP , cr.LP , kara throw is character specific (though I think it works on almost everybody; it definitely works on Ryu), and it is entirely dependent on your opponent stand/crouch blocking. Most people will crouch block though, so it’s okay, but definitely something to keep in mind if your opponent picks up on that and/or stand blocks all day (what’s up Chris Hu).

Another setup I want you to master is hitconfirming your overhead, f+MK. Start with f+MK , cr.LP to keep it easy and simple. This will be your f+MK hitconfirm. If those two things hit, finish with st.MK xx Tsumuji. If blocked, follow up with a throw instead. Same concept as the bnb hitconfirm training.

Once are confident with your f+MK, now we can combine your bnb setup with your f+MK setup for two chances of landing a hit, before going into your throw/frame trap mixup. If cr.LP , cr.LP hits, finish with st.MK xx Tsumuji. Else if they get blocked, go into your f+MK setup.

Finally, the last thing we want to add is using that Tsumuji. For the most part, we’ve basically just been autopiloting our Tsumuji on hit and on block. However! Tsumuji in itself can be a setup. These are self-explanatory things, and not easily trained alone (you’ll likely be needing an opponent to download/read). Two notes on Tsumujis if you have not already known from section 1:
-MK and HK Tsumuji can delay the low ender and act as a mini frame trap
-LK, MK, and HK Tsumuji all have different pushback on block.

The mini frame trap is self explanatory, and is something you can easily do if you expect your opponent to push a button. Keep in mind though that the low ender is never a block string, so technically it’s always a frame trap; it’s just that you get to control the gap. You might shove this off as an unnecessary risk, but it will be crucial when combined with the next concept.

The push back on LK Tsumuji is such that if you immediately followed up with st.MK or cr.MP, both will generally whiff on most of the cast. f+LK will always whiff on the entire cast. Knowing this, this paves the way for an easy whiff punish setup. If your opponent pushes a button, st.MP and cr.MP will/should hit on its recovery and land you a knockdown. Note that LK Tsumuji is -4 on block, so keep that in mind for timing purposes.

The push back on MK Tsumuji is such that if you immediately followed up with st.MK or cr.MP or maybe even f+LK, you’ll generally hit most if not the entire cast. Knowing this, this paves the way for an extended string to either get back in again or maybe simply continue pressing buttons on your opponent. Note that MK Tsumuji is 0 on block, so keep that in mind for timing purposes.

The push back on HK Tsumuji is such that you can follow up with a walk up kara throw. This is almost the only use for HK Tsumuji I would recommend unless you know what you are doing, because the push back is minimal (since it allows you to kara throw your opponent unnexpectedly), and because it is -4 on block. This means if your opponent pushes anything, you will likely be forced to block. However, if you expect your opponent to continue blocking, then blocked HK Tsumuji , walk up kara throw is an excellent setup that I wish I saw more Ibukis use and abuse.

So there you have it. Coming out of this training, you’ve already secured the fundamentals of your structured offense, as well as the training mentality required to practice further setups. You’ve taken a basic bnb hitconfirm, turned it into a frame trap/throw mixup, added another overhead mixup on top of that, and then finished off with a Tsumuji that can still land you another knockdown. This is what I mean by having a structured, layered approach to your offense game. Once are at this point, you can probably look at past videos of yourself and be like “wtf was I doing before?”

The last part to this training is to implement these setups in a real match, and to resist the urge to just push random buttons. If you can, the best method of doing this is to get an offline partner and each of you take turns practicing this offense, and the other practice their defense (by simply blocking and teching everything). Once you are capable of making your opponent think twice about pushing buttons at all, then you can consider your offense certified.

**Continuation: **There are probably infinitely more setups you can practice, master, and add to your arsenal. For example, off a vortex setup, you likely can and should learn to hitconfirm off just a single cr.LP. Once you can do that, you open up an entire can of frame trap buttons besides st.MP. Such buttons include cr.MP, cr.HP, cl.st.HK, and f+HK. Each one offers varying gaps that allow you to punish crouch techers of all types, from crouch tech mashers to late crouch techers. When you get the chance, I would highly recommend adding as many setups to your game as possible, so that you have numerous options at your disposal when you are in on your opponent, and so you can stay as unpredictable as possible.

8. Spacing

Going back to #1-5, now you should learn the ranges of all of your moves. Hit up the training room for this. Initially you may have to count the squares on the floor. Eventually you should be able to do something like max range slide perfectly every time. By this I mean you don’t whiff it, it hits or gets blocked, and you don’t do it deep enough that it’s punishable.

A good way to practice this would be to grab a friend, have him crouch block, and you (just you) walk back and forth to randomize the spacing, then go for max range slide. Meanwhile he will reversal dp with Ken. If you whiff the slide, then you fail. If you get punished by the dp, then you fail.

Once you are confident enough, then you let your opponent walk around too, while you still try to do max range slide. Not only does this stress your spacing skills, but it requires familiarity with Ibuki’s walk speed as well (and your opponent’s walk speed).

You can repeat this exercise with with Ibuki’s other moves, such as f+LK or cr.MP or etc.

You won’t necessarily be using slide as a footsie in every match, and especially when you’re both moving around (very hard to space against good players) but starting with slide is a good way to start learning Ibuki’s spacing, imo.


#15

9. Reactions

Antiair. The idea is simple: don’t let your opponent jump at you. But with Ibuki, this is actually quite a difficult task, especially if you play against smart opponents that don’t have any obvious jumping habits, and especially if you play against characters that can mix up their trajectory or jump timing (eg: dive kick characters) or characters with really good jumpin normals that will

often trade with your antiair in their favor. To top it all off, Ibuki doesn’t really have a go-to antiair for every situation, like a shoto dp, unless you count EX kazegiri but generally you want to save your meter for other stuff if possible.

Her usual antiairs include b+MP, EX kazegiri, nj.MK, cr.HP, cl.st.HK, raida/EX raida, and air throw. You can practice this easily in the training room by recording the dummy jumping at you with a good jumpin normal. I suggest you start off basic, and learn the properties of Ibuki’s antiairs first, such as speed, hitbox, recovery, followup options, etc. I also suggest you start with Ibuki’s easiest and probably universal antiair: EX dp. The point of this is so you learn to look for jumpins and react accordingly (with an antiair) instead of just pushing random buttons at midrange or “freezing up” when your opponent jumps at you because you weren’t expecting it or something.

Then you can bump it up a notch and record the dummy walking around before jumping so you also have to watch spacing. And finally you can record the dummy mixing up jumps, neutral jumps, and dive kicks to really put your reactions to the test. For this training, it also helps if you can get a human training partner so you can a feel of the footsies aspect of jumping as well: http://sonichurricane.com/?p=944

As always, it may help to take an analytical approach when it comes to your training. One technique you may apply is to constantly gauge which antiair you should use as you and/or your opponent move around. Constantly asking the question, “If my opponent were to jump right now, what antiair should I use?” will not only force you to evaluate your antiair options but also better prepare yourself should your opponent do jump. This way, half the mindgame is already over, as you then simply only need to look for your opponent lifting off the ground.

Another technique you can use to boost your reaction speed is by looking at the spacing between both characters, instead of looking at just your opponent. This way, you use peripheral vision to judge your opponent’s actions, and you prioritize reacting to spacing than reacting to movement of your opponent’s limbs. When you are first training to use peripheral vision, I would suggest first simplifying your antiair game, by picking a shoto or some character with a universal antiair (dp). Eventually, your peripheral vision reactions should be good enough that with Cammy, at the correct range, you should be able to even catch neutral jumps anywhere on the screen. And with Cammy/Rufus/any other far reaching dp, you should be able to catch any jump (forward, neutral, back) when your opponent is in the corner. This is because you’re reacting to your opponent leaving the ground, and as soon as you see that, you unleash that antiair because there’s nothing your opponent can do about it. Unless they’re Gief or something and are mashing ultra 2, but that’s another story.

Since you are focused on spacing, this should also help you in the midrange game, where spacing is very important. This is excellent if you have a spammable button and you only ever want to do it at a safe, max range, such as maybe Ibuki’s cr.MP or slide. By using peripheral vision, you can also gauge when your opponent enters your max poke range and safely throw out max range pokes to possibly secure knockdowns by punishing your opponent for walking forward. Anyways, more on this in the midrange section.

Lastly, you can find more information on this (along with nice hitbox pictures) in Izuna’s Player Guide to Ibuki, in the antiair section.

Punishing fireballs. This idea is simple as well: don’t let your opponent throw fireballs at you. And with Ibuki, this is a very easy task assuming you’re trained for it. For example, against Ryu, he basically cannot throw a fireball at any time unless he’s full screen (ie: you’re too far to punish) or he’s really close to you (ie: you’re too close to react in time).

Here’s a list of characters in this game with projectiles, and the startup/recovery of those projectiles:
Ryu: regular 13/45, ex 12/40
Ken: regular 14/47, ex 14/43
Seth: regular 14/47, ex 14/58
Gouken: regular 17/41, ex 17/55
Akuma: regular 14/44, ex 14/44
Dan: regular 14/40-42, ex 14/40
Sakura: regular 15/48, ex 15/48
Oni: regular 13/47, ex 13/43
Juri: regular 11/33 (release only), ex 13/39
Chun: regular 10/41, ex 10/48
Dhalsim: regular 14/48, ex 14/42
Sagat: regular 11/39 (high ts), regular 12/45 (low ts), ex’s same as regulars
DeeJay: regular 12/37, ex 13/52
Cody: regular 29/44, ex 24/40
E.Ryu: regular 13/45, ex 12/42
Guile: regular 9/29-33, ex 11/39
Rose: regular 14/52, ex 29/53

(sorted list can be found here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AqClL3kJPchYdFlDd0VhMmt4R0w3TVdJQ2hHX29GLUE&hl=en_US#gid=5 )

The most important numbers here are the recoveries. Startup usually isn’t a concern, provided that you are far enough that the projectile doesn’t hit you before you can even reaction block, and that you are reacting to the bright glow of plasma on the screen and not just the movement of your opponent’s arms (Tekken/VF style).

First, find your average reaction time: http://www.humanbenchmark.com/tests/reactiontime/index.php Mine is about 0.25 to 0.30. Multiplying that by 60 (since SF4 runs at 60fps) that means I can usually react to stuff within 15 to 18 frames. In SF, you usually need to react with more than just a single button, like maybe you need to input a dp or something. And you’re usually focused on a shit ton of things, like the game clock, spacing, your opponent’s movements, meter/health, etc. Adding some leeway to that, let’s say it may take me 20frames or so to react properly to something.

Your primary antiplasma weapon of choice against fireballs is going to be EX neckbreaker, for obvious reasons (if they’re not obvious enough, go back to #1). EX neckbreaker has 15f startup, and will usually reach your opponent in only a few frames as it is fairly quick. This puts me at about 35-40f that I can reliably punish fireballs. Ultra 2 has 9f startup, and reaches your opponent very quickly (you should aim to hit them asap, since if you don’t it doesn’t combo consistently). Using U2 allows me to punish fireballs with recovery 30-35f and up. Going by this, it should be feasible (with some reaction training and muscle memory training) to reaction punish most of the projectiles in the game.

Enough math fighter, you came here to train, right? Okay, so first, let’s start you off simple. The slowest fireball in the game is probably Gouken’s charged fireball. At 68f startup and 93f recovery, you have to be braindead not to be able to reaction punish this. So then why start here? As with antiair training, I always suggest you start at the easiest possible situation so you can build up basic reactions and the right mindset; that you know what to do and what needs to be done and how to do it and how much time you have to do it, etc. Also building basic muscle memory and all that great stuff, etc.

Once you are comfortable punishing a charged Gohadoken from Gouken, switch it up to Sakura. You can start charged, as it will be about 72f recovery and it probably won’t even travel far enough to hit you. Training with Sakura should also help alleviate you of the fear of “well if I can’t react fast enough, I might get hit with a fireball!” When you start practicing with some of the faster fireballs like Sagat, you’ll see that getting hit with a fireball isn’t the end of the world.

Going down the list, you should eventually be able to consistently punish fireballs from Rose, Sakura, Dhalsim, Ken, Seth, Oni, Ryu, E.Ryu, Akuma, Cody, Gouken, Chun, Dan, and Sagat.
Some tricks of the trade: get used to buffering your shit. Whether it be EX neckbreaker or U2 (or something else for other occasions), find a way to get most of your input ready so all you have to do is push a button, making it close to a simple reaction test. With EX neckbreaker, this means walking back and forth (not just simply standing there; you should be fighting for spacing anyways) and buffering 1236 or :db::qcf:
This will probably be a little obvious, but that’s ok for now. It’s just for you to get acquainted with buffering it. Eventually you’ll want to buffer just 123 or :db::d::df: or maybe hide your input in other moves, in similar fashion that Justin Wong hid his SA3 input with whiffed normals in Evo Moment #37, so that your opponent has less of an idea if what you’re trying to do.

If you’re buffering U2, you’ll have an even easier time because you can simply crouch and mash that stick back and forth from 1 to 3 then back to 1 again, or :db::d::df::d::db:
Once you see that plasma, you go to forward and press :3k:

Having a friend help you train here would help a lot, as he/she can help test your reactions with random fakes and other stuff that a recorded dummy cannot do. If you must train with the dummy, then use up all 10 seconds of the record and fill it up with random stuff. It may be played back, but with 2-3 fireball inputs in there and 7 seconds of garbage, it should be enough for now. Especially due to the fact that once you hit your opponent (or put him in blockstun), the playback is still going so the next fireball is going to be fairly random depending on how you recorded.

If you really wanted to test your reactions, you can also try doing this online, but doing shit there is really hard unless it’s like a shoto or something.

Once you are antiplasma certified, your antishoto game will be very strong. Taking away projectile zoning from projectile based characters is a huge advantage to Ibuki, and simply with this and a good post setup, you can destroy many online shotos. The problem now becomes that really good players that know the matchup, will simply not throw any fireballs or otherwise not give you a chance to reaction punish them. At this point, reactions goes beyond just reactions, and also encompasses reading your opponent. Eg: how likely is my opponent going to throw a fireball right now, and should I be prepared for it?

Like for example, blocking a shoto cr.MK is almost always followed by a fireball. In fact, cancelling cr.MK into fireball is usually the only reasonable option, since dp is unsafe and cr.MK xx tatsu is dumb. In situations like this, you should always always buffer that EX neckbreaker or ultra, because the chance of your opponent throwing a fireball here is very high.


#16

10. Midrange game
**
**
Here is where things get difficult. This will probably be the hardest part of your training: how to fight at midrange, and how to play footsies. You’ll probably spend most of your training here than on anything else. If you haven’t read Maj’s footsies handbook yet, read it now. If you already have, hell, read it again.

To start, you’ll need to know the difference between poking and counter-poking. Play a couple games of Chun or Fei, then play a couple games as Dudley, and then you should know what I mean. Poking is more of stopping your opponent’s movement and/or controlling space, usually very safely, such as shoto’s cr.MK, Chun’s st.MP, and Fei’s cr.MP. Counter-poking is as it says: it counters your opponent’s pokes; it punishes your opponent for pushing buttons. For example, Dudley’s st.HK.

Try watching some high level (major tournaments and/or Evo) videos (doesn’t necessarily have to be Ibuki matches) and watch very closely how both players handle the midrange game, or otherwise what they do when neither one is up close with a frame advantage. Re-watch these videos as many times as you have to. When you’re watching videos with charge characters, also take note of when they start charging and when they stop charging. You probably won’t understand wtf is going on right away unless you’re already a seasoned SF veteran, but imo, it’s good training, since you’ll need to know wtf is going on when you’re in one of these matches. Watch both opponents, especially their movement patterns, what buttons they press, at what spacing, and etc.

Going back to Ibuki, try to analyze her normals (and command normals) further. This is going to require advanced hitbox knowledge, advanced frame data knowledge, and a good sense of spacing. I’m a believer that every button is always a good button; just not always all the time. The thing with Ibuki is that she doesn’t have a universal poke. The utility of each of her buttons will always depend on the situation.

When training with the use of Ibuki’s normals, hit up the training room, pick a character’s button that really annoys the hell out of you, and have the dummy play it back with like turbo mode. Then you try each of Ibuki’s normals at different timings and different spacings to see if you can counter poke it.

When you go to practice watching your opponent’s movement do this: when you think your opponent will walk forward (into range) do Ibuki’s cr.MP and buffer a special. If you don’t think your opponent will walk forward, then you just continue blocking or walk forward to take the screen space. If you manage to get a knockdown, don’t go for any mixups. At most go for a safe jump or something so you can simulate getting free meter and etc., but the sole focus of this training should be for you to practice watching your opponent’s movement at midrange. When you’re doing this, you may have to consider a number of other factors, such as your opponent having good spacing tools (eg: Ken’s f+MK), having safe on block tools to use as a poke/counterpoke (eg: Bipson’s LK scissors) or otherwise safe on block tools that may require spacing (eg: Cammy’s SA’s). You’ll probably get knocked down a lot, get hit a lot, and lose a lot, but that’s okay. This is just training; it’s not a tournament match. And lastly you have to consider that you can’t quite practice this against certain characters and players, such as Dsim since he doesn’t want to be anywhere close to you anyways, and Sagat since he also doesn’t want to be anywhere close to you anyways. In other words, keepaway characters and characters that rely on having a life lead and maintaining it (eg: most of the charge characters) are not good practice subjects.

Sometimes what I like to do instead is pick Sakura and just do cr.MK xx Shouo all day. Same sort of practice: punishing my opponent for walking forward, but with 50 extra life to work with. On the plus side, if they manage to get in somehow, I also get to practice blocking, since most people know Sakura has a poor reversal game, especially without meter. Or I may pick a shoto like Ryu or Ken, for some more health, and a better antiair game so I can force my opponent to play a ground game, so I can practice what I want to practice (and not antiair reactions). And lastly sometimes I may pick Zangief and st.MP all day. I also get the most health in the game and the universal fear that nobody should be trying to rushdown Gief (except maybe Seth and Akuma?), and then I can put my entire focus on playing a ground game.


#17

11. Execution

I like to define execution as: “Doing what needs to be done; whether that means doing reasonable combos, reasonable antiairing, or reasonable punishing.”

And by reasonable I mean that everyone should be able to do it, or at least those with enough training, not just Sako.

**Kara throw: **In terms of utility, I’d say Ibuki’s kara throw is #1. No matter the character, no matter the situation, having this in your arsenal is good. And to boot, it’s relatively easy to do. If you’ve ever tried doing Ken’s kara throw, it’s the same idea. Ibuki’s kara button is st.MK. And all you basically have to do is plink throw with st.MK. When you do this in the training room, you’ll see Ibuki move forward slightly (about half the range of Ken’s kara throw) before throwing. Once you master this, Ibuki’s throw game becomes slightly more powerful. Not exactly like Ken/Claw where they can just walk back and forth and then kara, since Ibuki has a poor walk speed and accidentally holding forward before attempting the kara will result in overhead. But in the sense that you have more throw setups which doesn’t exactly look like Ibuki is in range. Two primary setups are blocked cr.LK , cr.LK , kara throw and blocked cl.st.MP , kara throw (both setups are done point blank).

To practice kara throw, basically just go full screen, and then keep whiffing kara throw until you’re so close you actually do end up throwing your opponent. Rinse and repeat until you can sucessfully go from full screen to throwing your opponent without messing up. If you mess up, generally what happens is that you get st.MK, and most of the time it’s because of your inputs. The rest of the time it’s because you pressed throw too late.

cl.st.HK and launchers; basic SJC’s: #2 on my list is her cl.st.HK and launcher mixups. This should be your entry into super jump cancel execution, at least with Ibuki. If you come from the world of C.Viper, then you probably won’t have any problems doing this kind of stuff. The first you should learn how to do is TC6/TC8 xx SJC cd. Then learn cl.st.HK xx SJC cd. For most Ibukis, this may take some practice, but you can shorten your training time if you analyze your inputs and what you’re doing (right or wrong) when you try it, depending on what came out. You will often get these results:
Nothing: your inputs were way too fast!
SJC cd: you got it!
Empty super jump: you didn’t input the command dash, or you inputted it too early (rare).
Super jump with a random kick: you inputted the command dash too late.
Empty normal jump: you inputted your super jump too early.
Normal jump with a random kick: you inputted your super jump too early.
Assuming your inputs are correct, you should only have to worry about timing. A small tip of advice which may or may not help, is to try to super jump cancel as late as possible. In my short testing, I found that inputting a super jump early (like before the st.HK animation of the launcher combo) would instead give me a normal jump, which I guess takes priority. Not only this, but the window to SJC cd is smaller if I did that: from ~4f down to 2f. Lastly, the same kind of analysis can be applied to when you try to learn SJC U2 and U1, with some slight modifications. Also notice that I now mention SJC ultra, despite that everyone who tries to pick up Ibuki will try to learn this first. SJC ultra is not a crucial part of Ibuki’s game, and usually you can play Ibuki without ever even needing to use her ultras. The primary use of her ultras (besides punishes) is to end rounds, and it’s not all the time that you need to end the round with SJC ultra.

Taken from Izuna’s Ibuki Guide:
You get nothing [after the final hit]: Your inputs were way too fast!
You get a High Jump, but no Ultra Combo: You didn’t input the KKK [at the correct time].
You get EX Kazegiri/EX Raida: Your inputs are still slightly too fast: More specifically, you’re pressing the KKK buttons too early. You want to High Jump, and then link* into the Ultra Combo. If you’re getting EX Kazegiri/EX Raida, then it’s because you’re cancelling TC4 straight into the Special Move instead of the High Jump.
You get the High Jump, and then a random kick in the air: Your timing is off. More specifically, the gap between the High Jump and the KKK input is too large.
You get Kasumi Gake (Command Dash) instead of Hashinsho: Check your inputs. You’re not inputting the correct directions.
*Editor’s note: I’m pretty sure you cancel SJC into ultra, and not link into it. The difference is small though.

After getting consistent with SJC cd and SJC ultra, you should be able to do the same with most of Ibuki’s other specials with some training. You won’t be using SJC xx kazegiri/hien/raida all the time, but you may find yourself using SJC xx Tsumuji quite often. You can apply the same training process as above.

Once you consider yourself a SJC expert, you can try the Sako/Motempest mixup:
FA xx forward dash , hk.cd , b+MP xx cd , cl.st.HK xx SJC cd , cr.HP xx SJC cd
Besides execution training, it’s not very practical in a real match, except for putting on a show. Off an actual b+MP antiair though, SJC cd mixups are probably Ibuki’s best options to maximize damage/stun and mixup options.

**Tsumuji loops: **rewire your stick and put a blink (select plink) button somewhere. This will make doing tsumuji loops incredibly easier. If you don’t know what plinking is, (re)watch this: [media=youtube]PfP3oj_8oXM[/media]
Blinking, or back-linking, utilizes the back/select button as your plink button. This button has the lowest priority of all buttons, so you can use it as a universal plink to plink everything, including jabs and shorts. If you don’t want to plink or rewire your stick, then you can try double-tapping. A short exercise you can do it double tap st.HK with Sagat, and you should get his fake kick every time. This won’t necessarily mean your double tap is frame perfect, but at least you’ll know you’re double tapping correctly within a small window otherwise you wouldn’t get his fake kick move. And if you don’t want to plink or double tap, or for some reason you feel more manly by just timing it 1/60th of a second perfectly, then glhf. In terms of training, just hit up the training room with an Abel dummy set to autoblock.

Unblockables: watch this [media=youtube]aujEIytQhWw[/media] and this [media=youtube]mwZebPk8Cig[/media]
You’ll mostly be using EX neckbreaker since it is considerably easier than the regular neckbreaker one. Practicing this is straightforward. You guessed it: hit up the training room again and set the dummy as Ibuki and record doing (or trying) the unblockable. Then you, as Ryu, or any other character that it works on, try to block it. I don’t know of any way to make this more consistent besides just sheer practice. I will note though that I plink the MK command dash, though it probably isn’t necessary, since you’re waiting ~2 frames before you jump anyways.

**cr.HP xx Kunai: **So basically, cr.HP is Ibuki’s most damaging combo starter. cr.HP xx kunai + Tsumuji loop lets you punish shoto dp’s for a whopping 372 dmg and 601 stun, meterless. Now that’s a punish! The problem is that cr.HP xx kunai is hard, and takes a lot of practice (not even Sako has mastered it yet). As a general rule of thumb, if you get jumping punch, you likely did it too early, and if the kunai didn’t combo, you likely did it too late. And then you also have to worry about accidental negative edge.

To start practicing this, just like with other character’s air specials, I would recommend you try to do the air kunai as late as possible. Then, slowly try to speed up that input until you hit a wall where the kunai never comes out. The idea for this exercise is so you can familiarize yourself with the minimum height requirement for doing kunai.

Once you figure that out, next you should try to hover around that minimum height requirement, make the kunai combo, and then finally combo off the kunai. Keep in mind that cr.HP xx kunai is character specific and spacing specific (I’d suggest Ryu as the training dummy as MP kunai always works, midrange and corner). I haven’t experimented enough with cr.HP xx Kunai training, but one thing you can try that might help is plink the kunai. Even if it’s a :LP: kunai, you can usually plink with :LK: because you obviously can’t throw while airborne, so theoretically a kunai should take priority. And of course MP and HP kunai takes priority over LK.

SJC FA: not too necessary. Not many Ibukis have found a use for this, though it’s always nice to have in your arsenal so you can show off to those C.Viper nerds!

Kara raida/neckbreaker/etc.: not much use has been discovered for this, except for maybe kara raida. In certain situations, when you go for a big combo (eg: tsumuji loop) on characters in the corner ending with EX tsumuji and you want to end with raida, HP raida won’t always connect. Hence you’ll have to do kara raida. The input is basically 2363214 K~P or :qcf::df::qcb: (plink the Raida with Ibuki’s command dash). Besides this rare occasion, it is also great for showing off; however nobody will probably ever notice it unless they main Ibuki.

12. Basic matchup knowledge

The shoto: best way to practice everything Ibuki, as almost everything so far will be applicable to this type of matchup. The two shotos I recommend fighting against most are Ryu and Ken, since their gameplay is very basic, and so you won’t have to “learn” as much as you would “apply.”

The grappler: usually Zangief, but can be extended to T.Hawk and Hakan. The gameplan here is to keep them out at all costs and play as safe as possible.

The turtle: usually charge characters and other keepaway characters.

The rushdown: usually dive kick characters and other games with a strong pressure game.

**The other: **any character that doesn’t fit into the stereotypes above or any character that is rare (eg: Gen). I put this type here so you can practice learning a brand new type of matchup, but also specifically so you can practice your adapting skills, or your ability to just “wing it.” There isn’t much matchup information against these characters, and especially not with an also rare character like Ibuki, so this is an excellent way to put your adaptability to the test.


#18

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.


#19

15. Finishing touches

Vortex: or as I like to call it, vortecks (let’s go Gootecks). So now you have mastered everything else Ibuki has to offer, and now you want to learn the ability to get free ambiguous safe jumps off of most of the cast. If you’ve made it this far, then you have proved that you can already win without vortex, meaning that you won’t use it as a crutch. Great. Well let’s get started.

First read the first post of this: "Stop Being a Freebuki!" (Advanced Play Thread)

Vortex training is very easy. Mastering it is another story, but let’s get started for now. The first thing I want you to do is to go to the training room (yes back to that place again), put the dummy as Ryu/Cammy/[insert character with invincle dp here] (this will be important later), and set to no block. Then, do: neckbreaker , wait , super jump LP kunai , combo of choice. To speed up your training, you may want to combo with just cl.st.LP or something, instead of some TC4 or full blown tsumuji loop or whatever. Repeat this setup as many times as necessary for you to get the timing down. There are two things to gain from this:
[LIST=1]
[]Correct timing such that the kunai does not whiff. If you’ve noticed, if you do neckbreaker and don’t wait but instead hold up-forward to immediately jump and then do kunai, the kunai will simply poke the concrete floor of the training room instead of stab your opponent’s balls, because your opponent hasn’t gotten up yet. For now, simply getting used to a wait is enough, just to make vortex work, although we’ll refine this timing more later.
[
]Correct timing such that you can actually combo off the kunai. This is probably one of the most important things when doing Ibuki’s kunai vortex, second to perhaps safety, since vortexing is kind of pointless if you can’t even combo off it. This will force you to time/aim your kunai as deep as possible, stabbing your opponent’s balls or slicing their ankles, since only when your kunai is that deep will you actually be able to combo off it. At the bare minimum you should be able to combo cl.st.LP (3f). At most you should be able to combo st.MP (5f), and you should be able to do so easily (ie: without plinking/etc.) so ideally you should have upwards of 6 or so frame advantage on the kunai.
[/LIST]
When are you consistent in your ability to combo off the kunai, and not have the kunai whiff, then we can move on.

Set your opponent to record mashing dp, preferably the hardest version (fierce/roundhouse). Make sure you record mashing dp as fast as possible, like 10 dp’s per second or something. After that, set to playback and repeat the previous vortex exercise.

[LIST=1]
[]The primary point of this training is to ensure that your vortex timing is safe. If you jump too early, you’ll eat autocorrect dp. If you jump too late, or you somehow stay on the same side, you’ll also eat a dp. If your timing is correct, your opponent will either get hit by the kunai, or they will fly away due to the invincibility of the dp.
[
]The other aspect of this training is to practicing punishing slow recovering attempts to get out of vortex, such as dp. This should force you to react to what happens after you throw the kunai, instead of just auto combo. If your opponent whiffs a dp, obviously you shouldn’t try to combo, but instead go for a whiff punish such as st.MK xx Neckbreaker, straight up neckbreaker, dash up combo, or whatever: all dependent on spacing and your reaction time. Generally speaking though, you have lots of time to react, so it’s more about you getting used to the fact that your opponent may try to mash out of vortex and you punishing this as hard as possible.
[/LIST]
Side note: I think putting Cammy as the training dummy is best since I find her dp to autocorrect the most. Also she isn’t airborne until like frame 7 of her dp, while her dp only has 5f startup, meaning it is impossible to “kunai juggle” her. Focusing on what to do in this situation will the point of the next exercise.

Once you are comfortable with your vortex timing such that
-the kunai never whiffs (you never want this to happen, unless I guess you are mindfucking your opponent or something)
-the kunai hits deep enough such that you can combo off it or start a blockstring
-your jump is timed correctly such that you won’t just get hit by wake dp
And that you can successfully react to basic escape attempts out of vortex, we can now move on.

If you can, revert back to Super SF4 and use Ryu as the dummy and have him mash lp dp. If you can’t do this, I guess pick Sagat as the dummy then and have him mash lp dp, or maybe AE Ryu and have him mash hp dp. Then repeat the previous exercise. The primary point of this training is for you to reaction punish cunning attempts at “escaping” your vortex. Certain characters with an invincible move (such as dp) that goes airborne before the invincibility wears off can purposely put themselves into a juggle state. If you’ve ever hit a jumping opponent with an air kunai, you’ll know what this looks like.

The purpose of using Super SF4 Ryu was that back in Super, his lp dp was not only able to put him in a juggle state, provided your vortex timing was correct, but that the dp would autocorrect if your vortex timing was incorrect. Most of the time, this led to a free ultra, or other free damage options. But I haven’t had much experience vortexing Ryus in AE to see if hp dp is just as good (been playing too many Yuns) so maybe using AE Ryu as the dummy is okay too.

Anyways, when you see that juggle, you put your reactions to the test. You can:
[LIST=1]
[]go for another insta kunai vortex, by immediately jumping and throwing a kunai, though I would not recommend this until you practice it first, which we will later on
[
]juggle with raida (any raida will do)
[]juggle with kazegiri (LK kazegiri is fastest and therefore easiest to juggle, but does least damage; HK kazegiri is slowest, but does most damage, etc.)
[
]juggle with cl.st.HK or cr.HP
[/LIST]
For starters, I would suggest just using Raida or LK kazegiri. This is just to get you acquainted of what the juggle animation looks like and the kind of timing window you have to react properly. In a real match, I would also suggest going for one of these two, if you are not particularly looking for the juggle, as it is more important to get that damage/knockdown than it is to squeeze out an extra 30 damage or whatever. Unless your reactions are gdlk, then whatever lol. Eventually, after some training, juggling with cl.st.HK and cr.HP should not be out of the question. Juggling with cl.st.HK into cr.HP into SJC mixups is probably your best option due to damage/stun/mixup opportunity, whereas Raida is best if you want the easy safe jump setup. Whatever route you go, as long as you can do a consistent punish, it will probably be good enough. Being able to get a free 100 damage into another setup, just because your opponent doesn’t want to deal with vortex, is pretty good.

So now your vortex timing is safe and comboable, and you have some basic reactions of punishing escape attempts. This next part is going to require a friend to help you out. If for some reason you have no friends, you’ll have to spend a lot of time grinding online, looking for people that know how to deal with vortex (not many people). What you want to do is have the other person try all sorts of escapes from vortex. Rufus’s EX messiah kick. Honda’s buttslams. Akuma’s teleport. The point of this is for you to get used to reaction punishing all of this, mostly with neckbreaker. The other point is for you to familiarize yourself with your opponent’s possible escape options. Some of them, you can’t punish, since you simply won’t recover in time. Things like Bipson’s teleport, Boxer’s EX dash, or Abel’s EX roll. You’ll also find things that can actually punish you for doing kunai vortex, such as Hakan’s ultra 2 and DeeJay’s up kicks. If you want a summary of unvortexable characters, then go here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AqClL3kJPchYdFlDd0VhMmt4R0w3TVdJQ2hHX29GLUE#gid=1

Another thing you should have your friend do is try to FA dash/backdash out of your vortex. 99% of the time, you can reaction punish this. But it requires good reactions and a non-autopilot vortex. For this, your go-to option will most likely be sweep (cr.HK). You can also do TC10, but punishing with sweep sets you up for a safe jump and another kunai vortex. Depending on the backdash you might even be able to just punish with st.MK xx Neckbreaker or something. More information is in the second post, here: "Stop Being a Freebuki!" (Advanced Play Thread)

A lot of Ibukis complain that her vortex is just a gimmick and that people can just FA out all day. I strongly disagree, and I believe it’s simply due to a lack of practice. FA out of vortex is nothing new (see Momochi Ibuki vs Daigo Ryu @GodsGarden 2010), but only recently are today’s Ibukis waking up to the fact that (good) players are catching on to this braindead escape, and abusing it because 99% of Ibukis are used to just chucking that kunai and getting a free combo.

Anyways, that’s my rant. Once you think you are familiar with the rest of the casts’ options against kunai vortex, then we can finally move onto controlling your kunai vortex (this is almost starting to sound like kunai jutsu training in Naruto, lol). Until now, we didn’t give two shits whether the kunai crossed up or not. And that was on purpose, because the process of kunai vortex is already ambiguous enough for like 99% of the people you’ll come across, including Ibuki mains. But of course, like other mixups, you always want the ability to control whether or not to hit crossup, so that you can adapt your vortex to counter your opponent’s blocking habits. For example, most people will block the kunai as noncrossup; or at least I do by default lol. And they will continue to do so until they get hit, consistently.

So for this training, you’ll need a second controller. If you don’t have one, well, I dunno lol. Go ask a friend if you can borrow their controller or something. Pick Dhalsim as the dummy and set him as human. Then, with your second controller, hold down one direction with like a rubber band or tape or something, or your foot if you’re Desk. Then, with your main controller/stick, start vortexing away. After each vortex attempt, it should be clear whether it was crossup or not depending if Dhalsim blocked the kunai or not. Repeat this as many times as necessary for you to notice the subtle difference in vortex timing. Eventually, you should be able to do crossup and noncrossup kunai at will.

When that happens, then we finally expand our vortex. Experiment with movement instead of just waiting before the jump. Play around with regular jump kunai instead of super jump kunai (different timing). Also be sure to go for different knockdowns such as tsumuji, EX tsumuji, and sweep. Also try varying your vortex to include non-kunai setups, preferably ones that look almost the same as kunai setups. One very easy setup I like to do is Neckbreaker , walk back , super jump. At this point you can throw a kunai (noncrossup), or you can sj.LK (crossup). As you experiment, be sure to keep checking to make sure you can combo off it, and what combos you can do. For example, off my kunai setup, you can usually get in a st.MP. Off the sj.LK, you can usually only get in a cl.st.LP, and it usually won’t be a true blockstring.

Lastly, be sure to mess around with insta kunai vortex setups. Back in early Super SF4, insta kunai setups such as:
Neckbreaker , dash up (or command dash up) , fast jump kunai

were all the craze. Now it seems nobody uses them anymore. Or at least I don’t, lol. It does have its benefits though. It is near impossible to react to, though at the cost of safety, since you are more likely to screw up your timing and get hit. Probably the biggest advantage though is that you can (should, eventually) be able to easily choose which side you land on. Not only does this serve as a clear indicator of whether or not the kunai crossed up, but that it is an easy way to deal with people who FA spam out of your vortex.

By the way I forgot to mention this but if you use my walk back , super jump setup and your opponent still likes to blindly FA out, you can use Ibuki’s air target combos such as TC3 (j.LK xx f+MK) to hit twice and break armor, leading to a free combo. If you’re not sure which side you should input the f+MK, if you’re doing the j.LK high enough, you can just mash back and forth on the stick while mashing MK and still get it to come out.


#20

This guide looks to be off to a great start. The first post, I think, applies to every 2D fighting game.