Focus attacks eat me alive

I have noticed that one of my greatest problems when playing a footsies game with Balrog is that i often get nailed with focus attacks. I try to keep my opponent at st.HP and cr.RH range, and use my fierces as my main pokes. I cant seem to have good confidence in my footsies when a single focused Fierce can have me eating a free ultra.

Do some dash low smashes.

Walk forward st.lp st.rh/, backdash, walk up throw, be more patient, dash straight xx super, Ultra on reaction.

All of those help.

Turn Punch

Can be tricky at times… at start of the round you will be able to notice whether that person is using focus as a strategy to catch your happy-go-lucky straight punch lol. If he doesnt, then easy. If so, like a lot of SAGATs go, u just need to mind game with him and start to throw your down-forward+k instead of straight punch. i dun recommend TAP or use it too much cos it’s a huge danger to be caught in an ultra.

Balrog main problem is not really focus but cross up.


although sometimes st.lp->whatever doesn’t work as well if your opponent is on point with his FA release. In that case use 2xst.lp -> whatever

Sagat’s are easiest - st.lp xx Dash Straight.
You can do this to other characters if they’re focus attacks are badly spaced.

I’m especially fond of xx Dash Straight to punish focus attacks, or xx EX Dash Upper, c.lp, xx Headbutt. The Upper hits counterhit, you get AWESOME damage and stun… beautiful. Obviously this is for badly spaced ones.


You can do st.lp xx EX Upper too obviously, for added range =).

As above have said, there are many ways - I know the SFJabs+ Move are often favoured by pro’s but it is definately best to use 2xSFJabs if you aren’t great with combo’ing them into FSHK or CRH (Like me).

Thankfully in MY case I’m a terrible TAP happy Balrog so that often cures 50% of the problem straight away (at least vs people of my level). There is the occasion you may eat a FA while TAP’ing but that’s mostly down to the range you use it, usually less success rate up close as it can hit you post invulnerability frames whereas from further ranges you only hit them with the Glove rather than have your body exposed.

DSmash is decent and good recovery so it’s no harm throwing those out either, beit on seeing FA’s or during BlockStrings - If they know Balrog, they know its Armor Breaking and they’ll notice you do use it.

Additionally depending on the size of the opponent you can headbutt over them during FA or Hit them as they release it. If they backdash you’ll either both recover safely or they’ll eat it if not back far enough. If you go over them you are free to combo into whatever you like or just throw them. It’s not nice when you lose an absorbed headbutt damage + throw or Combo damage after but again it’s character dependant.

You can also TAP the initial FA Hit if they are going for a full one (You’ll spin right through it) - TAP hitting a FA is often a CounterHit hence I love it as you can combo into CJab+ and often leads to an Ultra.

Overhead is also armor breaking so EX Overhead vs anything other than a timed L3 FA will lead to Ultra without fail if you know the combo.

Stand in a range where they like to FA and do an EX overhead like RopeDrink said on reaction to their FA. It absorbs a hit unless you waited for them to charge a level 3 and If they get hit, you get a free cr. strong xx headbutt on most characters and if you combo into a ex rush upper instead, they’re eating more than 300 damage.

I’ve been counterhit crumpled many times trying to chain jabs against FA users. I don’t think it’s reliable!

If you have meter to backdash cancel an absorbed sweep or dash punch , it’s definitely worth it.

I had a lot of problems against FA recently and I find ex overhead, super, and ultra the most effective way to react to a FA.

Every time you break focus with the overhead and you have 1 ex bar always go for xx ex upper. They will think twice, if they’re not stunned and dead, next time.

whenever i play a focus happy player, i always try to get my super meter built up so that I can 2-in-1 into the super from a jab dash straight.

or if i get my ultra, i try to bait out focus attacks when i have my back charge, and i will punish with ultra on reaction.

other than those, i use xx dash straight a lot to punish focus attacks.

All these solutions sounds great, but it seems that depends if they are just randomly charging it up to punish dashes versus where I’m having the most trouble, when they are using it in footsies. I mean we are point blank, I can very innocently throw out a cr.jab and if they press and release the focus at the same time, I’m crumpled on counter hit.

The faster focus attacks in this game has really made me not have as much fun playing boxer in Super. Esp against Cody, Dudley and Fei with ridiculously rangy focuses.

I find the smash will only break focus on the charge not on their release. Have to be uber uber quick.

if you’re actually CHAINING jabs properly, I’m pretty certain you can’t get CH focus’ed, because you can pump out the 2nd jab before their focus attack actually lands. If you’re LINKING the jabs, then it might be a different story.

You can get CH crumpled by chaining jabs. I don’t think it’s likely if you’re jabbing during the startup of their FA but on reaction it will get you crumpled.

Nope. Two jabs doesn’t come close to taking the amount of start up that a Focus Attack can. You’re not reacting fast enough.

You say the problem is point blank during footsies - xx HB/Dash Straight/Dash Upper, or st.lp xx all of the same.
Easy, great punish. Your problem sounds like you’re just not reacting fast enough. You’ll get it though, reactions come with time.

if ur playing a footsie game then ull eat focus sometimes. use sweep as a counter poke and use cr.HP > LIGHT STRAIGHT CANCEL

u cant cancle cr.hp into straight

This shit is just getting worse and worse for me. I feel like I’m completely shutdown in the poking dept which leaves me playing a down back react only game. And against flamethrowers like sagat, just curtains i tell you, curtains. Thing is maybe you can go most of the round and avoid it, but at some point you’ll eat one plus an ultra…ROUND… set… match

Seriously capcom, FAs make this game more defense not offensive…

too many people are used to throwing out c.HK s.HK all the time when anyone is in range. That’s fine, but if you’re getting hit by focus attacks it’s time to adjust your foots, use faster normals cancel into specials or followed up. like s.LP c.HK works a lot for me in focus situations.

st.LP, c.HK FTW…