focus attacks?

Just wondering… what situations do you use focus attacks?.. right now i use them when the opponent is heading straight to me but obviously thats not the best option.

also what do you do after using it… (during the crumple)… once i figure out how to do some combos I assume doing a combo will be the perfect option… at the moment however i throw or try to retreat and try to control the zone… is this a good tactic?

just wondering the basic idea of using a focus to be honest.
thanks! :slight_smile:

The primary use of focus attacks in mid-high level play is as “counterpokes”; When you are at a range where you expect your opponent to stick out a limb to try to poke you, and when you are either A) Close enough to hit their recovery with your released focus attack or B) In a position where dash cancelling the focus attack will lead into something useful, or at least, safe, you hit focus attack when you believe your opponent is going to attack, and then absorb the attack for a counter, or cancel the FA into a forward or backdash if they don’t attack at that exact moment.

Its good for several things:

  • Punishing slow moves, such as a poke, or non-armor breaking special with high recovery
  • Adds some more damage after landing a stun on a character
  • You can dash cancel out of it to perform certain combos, such as Ryu’s infamous dragon punch x FADC x Ultra1
  • You can dash cancel out of it to avoid getting mixed up in certain situations. Usually character-specific. For example, Makoto’s insanely fast dash allows her to avoid cross-ups during her wake-up. You just focus when you get up, dash out, and most characters have few or no options to punish it.
  • You can absorb small bits of damage to build up your ultra meter. Provides more damage on your ultra moves, as well as builds the ultra meter faster.
  • You can use it to safely backdash, in the case of Akuma, his backdash range gets extended slightly due to his body moving back during the focus.
  • You can use it to move through fireballs that have a high amount of recovery. For example, at max range, Ryu’s cr. forward xx fireball attack is not a true blockstring. Therefore you can block the cr.forward (at max range), and focus dash through the fireball to punish Ryu with whatever you feel like. Tokido makes good use of this when he plays against Ryus.
  • Same thing can be done to Dhalsim’s long and slow limbs. You’re able to gain some space on it. Although it’s highly unlikely you’ll be in a good position to punish him, you gain some ground, and that’s one of the most important aspects of fighting a solid Dhalsim.

I think that just about covers it. There’s a variety of things you can do with it, but they’re all situational, and you have to know what you’re doing. If you’re just throwing it out randomly whenever someone gets close, then there’s a high chance that they’ll pick up on that habit of yours, and they will find ways to punish it.

If you don’t know how to use it properly, avoid its use while you focus on the fundamentals of SF play. That way once you learn the basics, you can add focus attacks to your game, and that’s just one more arsenal in your game play you can use to gain them delicious wins.

after crumple, always punish. punish with an ultra, super, or combo. majority of the times you will have to dash forward to be in range of doing a good punish combo (doesn’t apply to ultras and supers).

A focus attack actually consists of two parts - the “focus” where you absorb a hit (that doesn’t break armour), and the attack. The two have different uses, some of which have been mentioned already. The dash cancel aspect is another part that is usually implicit when Focus Attacks are used to just absorb hits, but not always. For example, you can perform an “instant dash” while walking forward by holding forward, then tapping forward and MP+MK. Viper can also use Focus Dash Cancels as a way of remaining grounded after Super Jump Cancelling certain moves. I’m not sure if Ibuki can do the same. Another arcane use of Focus Attacks is Gen’s “parry”. He does a focus attack and then immediately kara cancels it into a stance change which means he undergoes less recovery. I’m sure I’m forgetting other things but the more important scenarios have already been covered.

It’s worth noting that this isn’t always the case. Focus backdash cancelling might avoid some option selects, but sometimes they can lose to normals that cancel into specials on hit. Eg. E.Ryu’s st.hp into Axe Kick. If you do a normal backdash, the st.hp will whiff and will not cancel. If you focus backdash cancel, you will gray damage from the st.hp, which then will cancel into axe kick and hit you in the recovery frames of the backdash.

Sometimes it might be worth the gamble to risk a reset instead of going for a standard combo, especially after the opponent was dizzied after a long combo. You could do something like at the end of this vid:

After the opponent lands on their feet, the damage scaling resets, so you get more damage. Risky though, and it’s usually character and situation specific.

I was just listing an example, and didn’t mean to imply that it’s ALWAYS safe for ALL characters and ALL situations. I was simply listing its many uses, none of which are a perfect solution for any given situation. But yes, you are correct, it doesn’t always work as an escape option, but it’s worth knowing.

I got blown up by people using a Focus attack to absorb a jump in attack and hitting me before or as I land

Look to see them start a focus when you jump, and then you can either land and armor break them or just grab.

Just wondering - I was told by Tbird’s toturials that FA and Dash cancel would cost 2 bars of meter…But its not.

Does it only cost 2 bars of meter after a super move??

It costs two bars to cancel the recovery of a move into a focus attack, such as a shoryuken immediately followed by an FADC. (This is where your character glows yellow.)

Simply doing a standalone focus attack by holding MP+MK and then dashing out of it does not cost any meter.

focus attacks are good at stopping your opponent from moving backward if they demonstrate that they just want to walk back. within range, their walkback becomes block. though i dont recommend abusing this, it often can force them to do something stupid like jump or mash risky moves