Help With Abel Basics

After playing Akuma for years and years, I’d really like to pick up a grappler. I understand Abel isn’t supposed to be top tier, but I’m having a rough time getting myself out of simple tactics because I don’t understand enough about the character.

I don’t know what to do when someone is constantly spamming lp or lk. It feels like Abel’s moves are too slow to compete. Rolling through them to get a throw in doesn’t seem to work, I can’t approach because of the speed of the attack, and jumping in doesn’t seem to do me much good either. I’m sure Abel has something, I just don’t know what it is, can anyone help?

Also having serious issues with characters jumping on my head for a crossup. It goes past the elbow and puts me at a huge disadvantage.

Another issue is with fast characters kiting me around. I can’t seem to catch anyone without falling into a combo. So if I start out at a disadvantage and the opponent decides to run, I feel like I have no options as Abel. I know I’m missing a lot of basics here, but help in these areas would be greatly appreciated.

A bit of advice in the few weeks I’ve been playing Abel now:

Standing close fierce punch is a good anti-air. I’ve had some success knocking people out of obvious crossup attempts with it. Land a few of these and they might think twice about jumping in.

Against characters that can out run you (like akuma) I see that patience works best. He is asking for you to chase him so he can get some free damage. If you’re about even on life, or on a lead, don’t be afraid to sit back and build some meter (which Abel does very well, and you need it for reversals and his buff combos). If you’re down on life you’re going to have to find a way to approach without taking much more than chip damage.

I haven’t found a solid way to deal with people who spam jab up close yet. If you’re out of range of jab will stuff it but I don’t think thats where you’re having your problems…

To play a good Abel you will need the ability to read your opponents actions, to be patient, and to know when to apply pressure. Against people who have better normals than you, be prepared to block a lot. Keep the links crispy.

Other people might have better ideas on abel I’m pretty new to him but here it goes:

block + ex TT (ex TT beats out normals and gives you invincibility…but you can be thrown so watch out)

That’s about your only reversal… I find I get smashed when I’m on the defensive with abel. He’s best suited when you control the pace of action and start your own rush. Another option I suppose is to block and roll to crossup because really abels normals don’t have a ton of speed. Maybe just backdash out and poke since it has decent range and speed.

Try to learn the distance on f+mk this is one of your best pokes and starts to a rush. It’s probably got more distance on it then most people’s jabs as well, so poke with f+mk and dash in to start some or cr.lp x3 since these are pretty easy to start with as opposed to the s.fp link which is 1 frame and tricky. From there it’s up to you… that’s the thing with abel you have to mixup your attacks… for example I like to try to crossup > or x whatever and then start another f+mk dash. Also you might want to practice something like: rush in with f+mk throw the cr normals then f+mk again but end it into any of the TT’s instead of normal attacks… Keep changing stuff up… Btw, you can buffer the TT while your f+mk dash is going in just experiment with f+mk in training mode really and use that to start the action… the range should beat the jab spammers.

Don’t overthink.

S.LK their face in.

I haven’t played much Sf4 Akuma, so I’m not too sure about his options… but I know with Abel if you hold back, he’ll do this thing where he’ll guard himself in something called “blocking”.

It’s really amazing, actually. If you “block” things like jabs and cross-ups, you don’t take any damage. Shit is broken, IMO.

For some reason, most SF4 players haven’t caught on to this tactic. I just hope Capcom leaves it in for SSF4.

Too true, many abel’s are guilty of blockaphobia. however, against a competent akuma that can really use demon flip mixups well in a rushdown fashion, blocking becomes more tricky. many akumas like this like to use the demon flip throw on you early to get you in the corner, where they can simply do work. another thing i’ve noticed about rushdown akumas, is if you like to block a lot and rely on crouch tech, they make you afraid to crouch-tech by delaying or staggering their blockstring post demon flip and doing ex tatsu, which counter-hits the cr. lk you’d throw out

Akuma’s Demon Flip isn’t a real threat while both characters are standing. If you’re getting caught with Demon Flips while you’re standing, you’re fucking up.

As for crouch tech, IMO, Abel shouldn’t be using OS tech anyway. His Low Short is so slow that it doesn’t even serve the purpose of OST. You can still get tick thrown, and you lose to all the other OST bait shit people have. I just late tech. It works a lot better.

yeah i meant when akuma cancels into demon flip from cr. forward / cr. mp or something like that, the demon flips can get tough

Not really. Jump back Fierce or neutral jump Roundhouse eats all that shit up.

Demon Flip is only a real threat on wake up, or if the Akuma wants to get cute, out of reset flip-outs.

Eh, Abel’s really not a character you can learn from a few sentences worth of advice, he’s more like someone you’re going to get your ass kicked with until you figure out how to block, not get hit by an overhead, and avoid crossups.

Best advice on its most basic level, learn the roll and throw. Don’t neglect EX TT and EX CoD. In the Akuma matchup in particular, EX TT works great after his forward HK (The two kicks) while EX CoD is an amazing way to score a knockdown after he goes for his sweep.

i donno what you mean by learning the roll and throw, but if you mean throwing after coming out of a roll, that pretty much never works except occasionally on wakeup. ex TT after forward hk is also insanely risky, if the akuma jumps after doing a st. hk, he gets a free st. rh loop, which takes off a lot of life and puts you in a bad position on wakeup. ex cod is ok for when you predict a far st. hk, but again it’s risky, watch out for akuma’s ex and ultra meters when doing this

Yeah, patience and blocking is preeettty important to…well, everyone, but I feel Abel players need to be even cooler under pressure. Even so, if you just block all day eventually something gets through, so don’t forget about using the roll to GTFO. Sometimes you’re better off just rolling the hell away and “start over” when you see the 50th cross up coming.

Keeping your meter up with empty falling skies is extremely helpful too. Abel with plenty of meter just eats right through oncoming offense with stuff like EX CoD and EX TT.