Elena Matchups Discussion

EDIT 4/7: I added a section to the match analyses called “SA2 or SA3?”, located after the “Advantage/Disadvantage” section. I’ve updated all the matchup analyses I’ve done thus far with this section.

EDIT: You can view all matchup analyses on Elena’s page on the wiki:


Character matchups finished:

3/28: Yun
3/30: Makoto
4/7: Alex, Chun-Li

I know I’m not the only person who plays a lot of Elena…I’d like people to contribute to matchups discussion if at all possible…I’m using NKI’s method of organizing matchup data, just cos I think it’s effective.

I’m gonna start this one off with Yun, since I think I have the most practice with this matchup (and believe me, I’m very grateful for that).

Vs. Yun:

Advantage/Disadvantage: Arcadia says that Yun wins this one 7/3, but perhaps because I’m biased, I’m gonna say this one is more 6.5/3.5. The match is a little more even, perhaps even tilted in Elena’s favor, until Yun gets Genei-Jin.

SA2 or SA3?

This could go either way. In this match, Elena will always be aggressive, and can easily punish Yun without much meter. In this case, SA2 is a great asset because you can deal a crapload of damage to Yun in the middle of your rushdown, or use it to counter Yun’s SA3. On the other hand, when Yun begins to rush you down via SA3 or corner traps, it can be very easy to make opportunities for SA3, and gives Elena the option to play this match like an Attrition war. Personally, I prefer SA3, because I play this match with the mindset of “don’t lose” rather than “win first.” (as opposed to winning second, I know :stuck_out_tongue: couldn’t think of a better choice of words.)

Yun’s Game: Without meter, Yun is gonna try his best to trick you out with divekicks until he gets Genei-Jin - even better if he can get Elena cornered, because its very hard for Elena to deal with the divekicks in the corner. Once he gets Genei-Jin, he can do what he normally does.

Elena’s Game:

Fighting Yun is a three part game: Before SA3 (or, Not in the corner), SA3, and Post-SA3 (or, In the corner).

  1. Before Yun has SA3 - you’re going to want to make Yun’s life hell. The first step to doing this is to check out what Yun does…
  • If Yun stays on the ground, take to the air on him, because he doesn’t have a lot of great anti-airs that are going to stop you; you could also fish for a Slide Kick knockdown, but I don’t like trying this on Yun very often, because most Yun players WON’T stay on the ground. You’re gonna want to try and get a knockdown, and deal as much damage as you can from that.

  • If Yun takes to the air, you’re going to want to stay far back enough to use B+Hk to hit his divekicks. If you’re too close (i.e if Yun hits you higher up), he’ll beat B+Hk clean; however, if you’re far enough back, you can beat his divekicks clean. If he does get really close, you can switch to using neutral J.Hp to hit him right out of the air.

Either way, the main idea is to create as large of a damage buffer as you can before Yun goes Genei-Jin on your ass.

  1. SA3 - When Yun is about to get SA3, you need to try your damndest to keep him out - you want Yun to try and activate SA3 cold-turkey (rather than from a blocked combo). This might sound obvious enough, but Elena can keep Yun out surprisingly well in these circumstances. Remember - Elena can stop divekicks and shoulder tackles pretty easily with her B+Hk. Not much can beat the lunge punch, but you can punish a blocked Lunge Punch with a throw. Just run away as much as you can without jumping!

  2. Post SA3 - Whether you took a lot of damage or not, you’re probably in the corner. The only thing Elena wants to focus on here is getting OUT of the corner. Yun can control the space in front of him very well in the air, and there’s not much Elena can do about it from point blank. Your best bet when you’re in the corner is to either dash under Yun at some point, parry a divekick and throw him, or reversal EX Scratch Wheel him if he doesn’t try and divekick you too much. You could also use an ocassional Neutral J.Hp or J.Mp -> J.Hp, but I wouldn’t do this too often.


There’s not much you CAN do from close up except parry…it can be risky, because Yun can use his divekicks to crossup, so you’ll have to pay close attention.

From far back, there’s one very clear answer: B+Hk. If you’re far enough back to hit him with this move, it will never trade - you will always win this transaction. Learn the spacing.


Ohhhh boy. So, if Yun activates SA3 cold turkey, there’s a lot Elena can do:

  • For starters, if you use SA2 with Elena, you can beat out pretty much anything Yun does after he activates Genei-Jin; hell, if you’re close enough, you can hit him with SA2 before he even recovers from the activation frames! The only thing that will stop SA2 is a Lunge Punch, so far as I know.
  • You can stuff his attempts to close the gap via divekicks with B+Hk very easily
  • You can beat his Shoulder Tackle attempts with EX Scratch Wheel or B+Hk
  • You can easily punish blocked Lunge Punches with a throw
  • If Yun isn’t doing any of these, you can just walk backwards until he tries one.

If he tries to activate off a combo, there’s much less you can do, but here’s a few things to try:

  • If your opponent likes to activate off a target combo (Lp -> Lk -> Mp, or Lp -> Lk -> Mp XX Shoulder Tackle), you can learn to red parry the last hit. If your opponent uses any version of Shoulder Tackle except for the jab version, I believe it won’t combo, so parrying that could be very easy. From there, you can easily reverse him right away with EX Scratch Wheel and get far away.

  • If SA3 is activated, and you’re being forced to block a bunch of stuff, pay close attention to the times when Yun walks towards you, because he’s either going for a throw, or is feinting a throw attempt. If you think he’s going for the throw, B+Hk his ass, then go back to turtling. If you think he’s gonna feint, get up immediately and kara-throw him, then either run away by dashing back, or you try and use an EX Rhino Horn to cross over him if you fear getting cornered.


  • Beat the crap out of Yun until he gets SA3
  • Force him to do something dumb with SA3, or block like there’s no tommorow
  • When cornered, get OUT of the corner and repeat step one until Yun gets SA3 again.

Misc Notes:

  • During Genei-Jin, the popular Crossup Throw XX Rising Kicks (sorry Yun players, I don’t know the names of the moves!) does not work on Elena, so, when fighting inexperienced Yun players, it might very well be a GOOD tactic to get caught by the throw.

I’ll try Makoto next…I figure this one should be easy.

Vs Makoto:

Advantage/Disadvantage: Arcadia marks this as 6/4 in Makoto’s favor, but I’d say it’s more like 5/5.

SA2 or SA3?

Neither one is much better than the other in this match; since you’re trying to keep Makoto out all day, you’re gonna have a lot of chances to stuff random dash-in attempts with C.Mp, so you’ll have a lot of chances to use both EX Spin Scythe and/or SA2 combos. Either one is fine - SA2 gives you easier damage potential, and SA3 gives you more options. Personally, I switch between them, but lean more towards SA3 simply because I’m more comfortable in defaulting to SA3.

Makoto’s game:

Makoto wants to do the same thing she always does: get in close and pull a bunch wake-up games, land some karakusa grabs, and hopefully a SA2 (or SA1 - there appears to be some debate about which is better vs. Elena). The only difference - a difference which kills inexperienced Makoto players in this match - is that she really can’t do it effectively with her ground game. A good Makoto player is going to try and get in by hovering over you with cross-ups and Tsurugis, or even just empty jump-ins into throws.

Elena’s game:

Simply put, Elena wants to keep out Makoto until she has a good opportunity to score a knockdown, then play wakeup games until she loses the momentum. It’s a simple ebb-and-flow; though, you should very well expect to fight the entire match defensively. Here, I’ll discuss keeping Makoto out (since wakeup games are not a matchup-specific part of the strategy).

On the ground, Elena has this one pretty easy - this is mostly what I think evens the match out so much, in my opinion. B+Hk and C.Mp will beat out a LOT of stuff that Makoto tries on the ground. In the air, Elena comes out pretty even, as well; but, that’s under the assumption that Elena is in the air, too. Elena does not have a lot of effective anti-airs for handling Makoto. A good Makoto player will take advantage of this, so you can deal with this with three simple rules:

  • Don’t let Makoto land close enough to throw you. If Makoto lands near you, she’ll try throwing you, or going into random pokes to psyche you out (which WILL work at point blank against Elena). Deal with this by making sure there’s a big enough distance to where she can’t do a lot of those things - in turn, you will still have the advantage.

  • Don’t allow Makoto to hover over you. This is specifically in regard to Makoto doing things like jumping straight up when she’s close to you. Just dash back.

  • Meet Makoto in the air. If you can meet her in the air sometimes, it’s a good idea. Elena and Makoto break even in the air, but Makoto has to use specific normals to match Elena - ones that she probably won’t be using when she’s trying to close the gap. So, try and get the jump on Makoto sometimes.

When Makoto has meter, there’s more of a risk involved in the ground game. Whether she’s using SA1 or SA2, you’re gonna want to be a lot less reactionary with B+Hk - stop using it on wakeup, stop using it after being reset, and stop using it after ticks. If Makoto is using SA2, you could try switching B+Hk in these situations with Elena’s S.Mk -> C.Hp target combo - if you get baited, you have a much better chance of recovering and being able to block before you get hit.


  • Keep Makoto out with B+Hk (and the occasional other normal), and play wakeup games on good occassions

  • If Makoto jumps at you, don’t be under her, and don’t let her land close to you

  • Be more cautious when Makoto has meter! It can be very easy to get baited into eating a ton of damage!

Thanks for posting this stuff! You just leveled up my elena in these matchups.

Have you tried some of this stuff out? I’m all ears to hear any feedback on what I’ve posted!

Nice stuff man, its nice to know someone else plays elena as serious as me. (she is my main)

Pretty much what you put is correct, i have touble with Yun in SA3 but (like you said) its cause ur in that corner.

So you have any other matchup suggestions?

Not at the moment…I put those ones up because I have a LOT of experience fighting Yun (and I’m thankful for that…), and Makoto is a very easy one to do. I might try throwing one up for Ken or Alex soon.

Vs. Alex:

Advantage/Disadvantage: Arcadia states this matchup to be 7/3 in Elena’s favor. I suppose I’d agree with that, although it could seem difficult at first…

SA2 or SA3?

I think that in this match, both SA2 and SA3 are very viable; however, SA2 is probably a bit better. It’s easy to peg Alex with EX Spin Scythe combos; however, her good corner combos don’t work on Alex, and there are not a ton of opportunities to use SA3. SA2 can be used to reverse some of Alex’s attacks, and gives her a mean option for footsies, which can be very effective against Alex’s shoddy ground game. I would say, go with whatever’s comfortable; though I might say SA2, just because of how few options you’ll have to actually use SA3.

Alex’s Game: Alex wants to get up in Elena’s face, score a knockdown, and try to land a bunch of EX moves, overheads, and Power Bombs right in your face. Since Alex has a really lame ground game, he’ll try to accomplish this by jumping in, which works surprisingly well on Elena. He might also try to knock you down with Random Flash Chops, Slash Elbows, and Air Stampede Shenanigans.

Elena’s Game: Elena is going to want to do the same thing as Alex in this matchup; the only difference is that Elena will want to come in on the ground.

For the majority of this match, you should be fishing for sweeps, and trying to take Alex out of the air. B+Hk will be beaten with pretty reasonable consistency by Alex’s J.Hp and J.Mk, so learn to meet Alex in the air or dash under him! If you allow Alex to jump in on you all day, you’ll be in for a world of hurt, because there’s not much Elena can do against Alex’s jump-ins.

Punish with Scratch wheels and sweeps whenever you can, and try to make the most out of any resets you might land. If Alex is staying on the ground, fish for EX Combos/SA2 combos. Lastly, there is absolutely no reason to back off once you get the momentum going; if you land a knockdown, just go all balls on it!


  • Since you can’t turtle too well in this match, crash into Alex head on with superior footsies and mixups

  • When Alex is on the ground, fish for knockdowns and EX Spin Scythe/SA2 combos all day

  • Don’t let Alex jump-in! Meet him in the air or get out of the way!

Misc. Notes (courtesy of Shining Soul, paraphrased by me):

  • At mid range, Alex’s S.Mk can go over and cleanly stuff Elena’s pokes; if the Alex whores S.Mk, block one, then use B+Hk to catch the next one.

  • If caught in Air Stampede shenanigans, you can counter them in some situations by jumping back with the J.Mp -> J.Hp target combo.

  • Alex’s Air Knee Smash can counter Elena’s B+Hk if done early enough.

  • Elena can punish blocked Slash Elbows with reversal SA2.

Vs. Chun-Li:

Advantage/Disadvantage: Arcadia states this match as being 7/3 In Chun-Li’s favor. I’d be inclined to agree on that.

SA2 or SA3?

I would lean very heavily towards SA2 in this matchup. EX Spin Scythe Combos completely whiff Chun-Li when she’s crouching, and even if Chun-Li is turtling, can limit your opportunities for using SA3 for anything more than a baiting tactic. On the other hand, if you can out-footsie an opposing Chun-Li, you’ll have plenty of options for SA2. I would definitely choose SA2; it’s probably the only match in the entire game where SA2 gives Elena more options than SA3.

Chun-Li’s Game: Just like pretty much any match, Chun-Li is gonna stay on the ground pretty much all day and keep you out until she gets meter by using her amazing pokes. Once she gets meter, she’s gonna fish for chances to use it: lots of C.Mks, kara-throws, punishing whiffed attacks, amongst other random ways. It’s basically like fighting a mirror match, only your Mirror has WAY better pokes, and a very easy way to deal damage with her meter.

Elena’s Game: Elena only has one advantage in this matchup: Chun-Li is not a threat at ALL to Elena at close range until Chun-Li has meter. In my opinion, the only consistent way for Elena to fight this match effectively is to take advantage of this fact until Chun-Li gets meter. Get in with sweeps, well-played jump-in mixups, dash-into-throws, etc. then take your wakeup games as far as possible until Chun-Li can use her super.

When Chun-Li CAN use her super, there’s two general strategies I would adhere to:

  • If you HAVE the momentum (i.e, have scored a knockdown, are playing wakeup games, etc.): Just keep playing as if Chun-Li doesn’t have meter, until you get lose the momentum via knockdown or are hit with a super. (NOTE: This tactic should be applied less frequently when you don’t have a lead, and should be applied LESS frequently when you have low enough life to be killed off by Chun-Li’s SA2.

  • If you don’t have the momentum (i.e, are being knocked down, are out of poking range, etc.): This is when it will come in handy to have SA2. If you get knocked down, and you think Chun-Li is gonna go for that Kara-Throw? C.Mp XX SA2. Are you outside of Chun-Li’s poking range, and she whiffs a C.Mk? Counter with C.Mp XX SA2. How about S.Hp or B+Hp? Just counter with SA2 cold turkey.

This part of the match is far out of your favor, so this is about the only option you have besides sitting around and waiting to get hit by an SA2. Besides that, I like this tactic, because it encourages Chun-Li to try and hit you with SA2. As crazy as that sounds, you want her to try and use SA2 when she has meter; if you’re playing this match right, you should (in theory) have a lead…but more importantly, you do NOT want to be in a situation where Chun-Li has two stocks of SA2; that is a essentially a free round for Chun-Li, even if it’s the very beginning of the round! So, I would reccomend going about this part of the match in a way that prompts Chun-Li to try and use her super - At this point in the match, someone is going to get pegged by a Super; it might as well be Chun-Li.


  • Get in Chun-Li’s face when she doesn’t have meter - you have the advantage!

  • If you have the momentum when Chun-Li has meter, keep it going until you get hit (perhaps not in dire situations) - the idea is to get the biggest lead possible!

  • If you do not have the momentum when Chun-Li has meter, Do whatever you can to bait Chun-Li’s SA2 while trying to land your own SA2 - Someone is going to come out of this situation with a big hurt! Don’t let it be you!

Misc. Notes (courtesy of Shining Soul, paraphrased by me):

  • Elena’s UOH stuffs a lot of Chun-Li’s wakeup options.

Reversal SAII on Alex?
EX FLASH CHOP on block high: NO
EX FLASH CHOP on block low: YES

Elena vs Hugo - what to do?
I try to play SA3 against him sometimes and it’s not as effective as it might sound on paper because hugo can get in through the air. But in close I feel like he has insane priority over my moves, and I’ve got nothing to anti-air his splash, which seems to beat everything.

Elena owns the shit out of Hugo. That’s a horrible match-up for him.
Her overheads, kara throw, jump RH and b. RH give him a ton of trouble. Hell, b. RH beats everything he has outside of a clap. He has a tough time getting in on her, so it’s way too easy for her to just build meter and heal off an errant knockdown or reset.

If he’s splashing from a distance, just back up and b. RH him or DP.
If he’s point blank, s. MP has a fucked up hitbox that beats it every time, even if he’s practically crossing you up. I shit you not. Go try it. You could always just block or parry anyway. Not like the splash has an unpredictable hitbox.

I’ll try that mp tip. Thanks. I find using overheads on hugo difficult except for toward+mp. Mallet smash and toward+mk can get you 360’d afterward - even if they hit - they put you close, and toward+mk puts you at disadvantage whether or not it’s blocked. Hugo’s pokes are actually pretty good, especially s. mp, c. mk, and his air to air jumping punch. Got any tips about beating these out specifically besides b.rh?

Also, ideas about what to do on wakeup vs hugo without fear of being 360’d?

When Hugo is waking up just go for b+HK or jump straight up and come down with air chain. b+HK makes you airborne which is obviously a plus and it moves you away a bit helping you stay out of throw/360 range. Personally I wouldn’t even really stand near Hugo on the wake up much. Unless he has a big health advantage over you and you need to get those hits in…it’s not worth it. Wake up is one of the only situations where Hugo can do serious damage to you in the first place. Just be an asshat and run away from him the whole fight and use healing and you win.

Haha I used to get dropped on XBL a long while ago when playing elena against hugo.

Id bait wake up 360’s or gigas and beat them with a b+RH.

Fun times.

Oh yeah? Well how fun is it when Hugo decides to reversal SA2 while you’re trying to stuff 360’s with either B.HK or even just plain HK huh?

Not so fun for me…

Thanks for the advice everyone.

How do you fight Hugo kenuran? What’s your game plan?

Low forward is stupidly good against Hugo. If you distance it just so the tip of your foot hits Hugo it’ll beat out most of the pokes Hugo can throw out at that range (stand strong, handclaps). Beat sweeps and low strong with standing roundhouse. At closer ranges back roundhouse, low strong, universal overhead, and kara throw are your best bets.

You can anti-air with low forward too. You can even anti-air with cr.HK. Standard anti-airs (st.MP, cr.FP, Scratch Wheel, st.LP, back roundhouse) will sometimes get beat by jump-ins depending on spacing/timing, so you can always follow Hugo into the air and use her two hit air moves (j.WP -> j.MK, j.MP -> j.HP, j.HK). You can also cross-under dash, low short to super or Scratch Wheel. You can also cross-up Hugo with j.WP -> j.MK. You might have some success with using Rhino Horn as anti-air and if it connects you can sometimes Scratch Wheel afterwards. If you beat out Hugo in the air, don’t forget that you’ll land first and can dash in and mix-up with cross-unders.

Jump-ins with the two-hit air attacks are good and can set up stuff (throws, back roundhouses). You can use these multi-hit jump-ins when you score the knockdown on Hugo, just be sure to mix-up or delay your timing on the second hits for the target chains to stop parries. Back roundhouse is good on his wake-up, just be careful if he has meter or gets parry happy. Meaties + Elena’s overheads are good on a Hugo waking up too and they can help stuff wake-up 360s.

If Hugo hits you while you’re in the air watch out for his Meat Squasher/running grab. If Hugo gets in on you watch out for his mix-ups (meaty handclaps, sweeps, 360s, anti-air grabs). Note that a lot of these options can be beat out by EX Scratch Wheel (which in turn will be beat out by Hugo doing nothing and just waiting/baiting it out).

Just mix-it up, keep the Hugo opponent frustrated, know when to keep your distance and when to press in, try to stay out of corners, build your meter and use it. As with all match-ups do not get too predictable with your back roundhouses or you will get punished.

Thanks for the extra tips shining soul :tup:

Okay, new matchup discussion: Elena vs Urien.

Several things about this match are difficult.

The first is there seems to be no reliable way of stopping a tackle, no poke you can throw out and hope it stops it like there are with some other cross-screen moves. Thus, Urien can get in close on elena, pushing her into a corner (on block) rather easily, and then doing aegis.

The second are his pokes - they give me difficulty. c.mk and s.fp, specifically. Seems like miracle rh and back+rh are not so effective here. A whiff means eating a tackle.

Then there’s the aegis in the corner, over and over and over… the lucky 50% game that never seems to go my way, leading to 50% damage (or more), and an aegis repeat. Strategies for this matchup would be great.

General question - can you parry a tackle on reaction?

Any comments? Going to make a new specific thread if this one isn’t active anymore.