Help with my Vega (videos)

Hello guys. I’m sorry if this is in the wrong spot, but I didn’t think it fit in the general or video thread, since I’m not too great.
I was hoping someone here could evaluate and help improve my Vega. He is by far my favorite character but I feel like I have just about reached my limit performance wise.

This is me getting my **** pushed in.

This is me completely choking after the first round. I laughed watching it.

Forgive me if there is something wrong with the links, my first time ever uploading anything to YouTube. Also my first post here :slight_smile:

The main problem I see is not capitalizing on opportunities, like not getting in a combo off a baited grab. I also see I get shut down by FA’s. In the matches after video 2 I got focused to high heaven and couldn’t adapt to save my life. Are there any other obvious flaws, or is my Claw just bad?

Can’t see your videos. Says I need to be signed in to view them or something.


Capitalizing on opportunities comes with experience, don’t expect to always get them especially if you’re still getting familiar with the character. Just get damage when you can, that’s the best you can do at first. Practice your links, over and over. Claw has a ton of 1 framers. Easy links though is cr.MK > cr.MP. Super easy most of the time and once you have meter allows xx EX FBA after for Izuna knock down and corpse hops. Try to use those to punish. cr.LP is a very difficult and unreliable combo starter for whiff punishes, and it’s only 1 frame faster than cr.MK though sometimes that does make all the difference.

As for getting blown up by FA a lot, my advice is to always use a poke you can cancel into and always cancel your poke into something. If you don’t have meter, cancel into backflip. It saves your life when people start making heavy use of FA to shut down your poke game. They’ll learn they can’t shut down your poke game anymore after that, so they’ll have to try something else, then you can start to use pokes to push them back with block stun. If you have meter, cancel your pokes into EX FBA. The best 2 normals for this are cr.MP and cr.MK. You can poke at range and cancel to KKK flip and recover fast while not losing too much spacing you were working to earn. PPP backflip is really good if you want to gain space. At the right spacing, you can cancel into lp.RCF or hk.ST, though be very careful with ST since it will whiff. A lot. These options are mostly at point blank which can be dangerous for a Claw player. If you aren’t point blank do not try roll since you will be -2 on block and close to your opponent.

I’ve learned over time that one of my flaws is always trying to find something to beat the other person with, and sometimes, it’s about escaping and not “winning.” Staying alive is far more important than a little damage you may win from a trade or a single poke that you weren’t expecting to get and didn’t cancel into anything. Rather than canceling into a move with slow start up or trying to poke again to break a FA, it’s simply easier and safer to cancel into backflip. It’s a really useful tool in his arsenal and a simple way to shut down anyone’s FA fishing. You can even use it to safely poke someone who blocks and force them to not be able to retaliate at the right distances even if you’re - on block.

I apologize, the videos were set to private, even though I tried to test and see if they could be watched. Links should work now.

I swear I’m about to have a stroke playing Claw. Literally every single match is the other player waiting to jump in to get there 40% combo, then I get vortexed until KO. I just want to throw my pad across the room and say **** it. I feel like if you get knocked down ONE time its over. Its frustrating :frowning:

Ok, first video vs Balrog. Too much back flipping on wake up. That isn’t going to save you especially against boxer. Against slow air attacks with a lot of recovery it will, but not on meaty attacks or throw setups. Even if you escaped he can OS on flip recovery, so you still get knocked down. You need to block on those, and then crouch tech boxer’s attempts to throw after jabs. U2 on wake up is really risky. Easy to bait and even if they hit a button, if it’s a jab your start up will eat their input and then they get to block for free. It’s only good against strong attacks with a lot of start up and recovery, so that they’re guaranteed to get hit. For some reason USF4 cancels light inputs during ultra start ups, and often claw pays the price. If they don’t meaty, there are another number of ways to bait it and not give a fuck. Empty jumps, neutral jumps, cross overs, the kind of things that make you guess between blocking high, low, or hitting a button. Vega is free to jump ins on knock down, so you have to block.

Risky overheads when boxer has meter, it means he can armor soak any of your attacks at that point and overhead is slow and doesn’t give you anything on hit. Why risk it? The same for pokes, when he has meter you have to think a lot more about whether or not you want to risk poking and eating a rush punch with armor.

Lots of meter spent to FADC a roll, why? You need that meter for EX FBA punishes. Even though you’re + on block, all you can gain out of it is a throw. It’s not worth it, not for that kind of meter. Unless it’s going to win you the round.

You’re doing some things right but you need to realize you’re going to have to block a lot. You can’t always escape and you can’t always beat their attacks. Claw pokes only have a few active frames, mostly ranging from 2 to 3, with cr.HP having the most at 4. Much of the cast has attacks with more, meaning even if you have good reach, you have low priority and less chances to beat theirs out.

The 2nd video vs Makoto you played much better. I saw some bad meter management though for really risky things, like random EX FBA. Makoto can easily AA it, or if she has U2, that’s a free punish during recovery (even if you go “safely” to the opposite side of the screen) for a lot of raw damage. You had a golden opportunity to cancel that cr.LP to Super through her focus attack for big damage. I think the thing that hurt you most there is trying to link cr.LP to cr.MP and failing. Perhaps go for something less risky, like cr.LP xx EX FBA or simply cr.LP xxx KKK backflip for a little space, then poke or focus their poke attempts. Makoto can be lamed out by playing patient and punishing her attempts to get in. You don’t have to be as aggressive as you were, that seemed to open you up for some hurting.

Another thing I noticed was after a jump in you (accidentally?) got a standing LP. If you do, capitalize on it and cancel that into a lp.RCF. That’s free damage and easy to pull off.

That’s all my thoughts for now. Are you on Steam or console?

I’m mainly on Steam right now, username “Vhozite”. I need to renew my XBL but I play on 360 too sometimes. GT “Dark Vhozon”.

Yeah I was bathing in salt some of those matches so my play REALLY went downhill. For some reason it seems like now that I’m making a concerted effort to improve (and not mash) I’m actually doing worse. My main problem is that I get aggressive when I’m mad, then pay the price for being careless.

Yeah, the salty stuff sucks especially as claw. You have to be (mostly) extremely careful with him. He’s pretty unforgiving if you fuck up, especially if you lose the life lead and then the opponent sits on down back the rest of the match. Literally nothing you can do at that point :frowning:

I actually start to get lazy if I start winning and falling into bad habits. Then I start losing, and then I have to start thinking again. Sometimes in a match I have no idea what to do in I just derp out. It sucks because it makes it tough to learn a match up when most of your options get shut down and you don’t have any good special attacks to utilize to try to open up the opponent.

I’ll add you on steam later today.

After a glimpse:

  1. Ch --> ST learn it, use ist. There is no way around it
  2. Stop with the PoM --> throw nonsense, just stop with the PoM altogether, use it only once per round if ever. Every time you used it in the vid you should either used a kara-throw or a walk back - CH.

… for starters… :wink:

I actually practice a CH --> H.ST a lot since it does good damage (for Vega), but as soon as I get in a match its “MASH TEH BUTTONZ”. I been practicing that and some of his links, like --> xx EX.FBA. For some reason the stuff I can do fairly consistently in the time chamber doesn’t work as smoothly when I fight. Guess I just need more practice.

Shout to Moonchilde for the mirrors. I got stuffed a lot but I did better toward the end. Learned a few things.

Online hurts claw game a lot. Links aren’t as reliable and small window punishes are way harder to do. Sometimes even changing your block direction is hard as fuck lol.

@star does have a point about PoM > throw. You got me a lot with it but it can be really risky, especially on characters with a reversal. Vega doesn’t have one so it’s a lot easier to do on him.

Really, the things you might want to consider, if you truly want to go somewhere with Vega (Claw)-- there’s some stuff you need to know about the game and its mechanics. At least, the basics:
• Frame data (It’s just basic math, I promise)
• Hurt/Hit boxes (At least getting an idea of what moves look like)
• How to use training room
• Practice (Offline is better, but you can apply the rudimentary version of the game plan online)
• How to use a vortex, to lose a vortex. (Example: Knowing Akuma vortex to know what’s coming next)

Now, mind you, this is a lot to look at; but I promise that it’s really not as complicated as it seems. Frame data is only noted for exceptional moves or situations (also whiff punishes, but we’ll get there), and only as reference.

Your first focus should be feeling the game. Footsies is applied by all characters in high level play, and that’s your fundamental tool. If your execution, and linking of your moves is clean (well practiced) - you should build meter very well, in tandem with playing smart. Mashing jabs when someone is blocking will not work, so don’t even try it. Knowing what buttons to poke with, when to apply pressure, and knowing when to remind other players of your grab, especially your kara-grab.

Practice your spacing in the training room. See where your moves hit, from what distances, and think about times and places to use them. All of Vega’s buttons, apart from his close-standing light kick (situational).

Next is maybe understanding how frame-data is used, playfully.

How to create a combo? Simple, like this.
Vega’s cr. Jab is +4 on hit.

Now ask: What else is +4 on hit? Well, what are we looking for? Hopefully it’s damage, but if you want style, that’s on you.

Moves that have a 4 and below start-up. After you browse through his moves, you’ll find that st. Roundhouse can be linked, oh boy! So what now? Well, it’s a 1-frame link, and they’re not the easiest thing to pull off online when you’re trying to use confirms that all really strict in timing.

Where is Vega weak? Well, usually people say his wake-up game. This is true, but now we ask why. Because there’s no invincible wake up option? Everything he does gets Option-Selected? Meaties are hard to stop?

Any good Vega player will tell you that he’s to be played to a point of mastery. You’re trying to play the perfect game, and all flaws should be punished. For the potential Vega has with his best qualities, they completely outweigh his awful wake-up game. Though, if you get used to dealing with the 50/50 setups, and knowing what Option-Selects you can cause to fail with practice, the game is in your hands.

There will be bad match ups, there will be good match ups. There will be bad players, and there will be ridiculously efficient specialists you come across. So many variables will shape how you play, how you react, and the biggest thing playing Vega: Keep your composure. Pay close attention to how you move, how your opponent reacts.

Remember to save your matches/footage (as you’ve been doing), watch other Vega players. Watch very informative videos on how to play Vega, take what you want from it. There is a very vortex-esque style of Vega play that can be achieved with practice that rivals Akuma’s. Is that exaggerated? Not at all. There’s plenty to learn, and your level of commitment will surely define the outcome of your Vega. You decide how you play Vega, but I will say something that you should really understand. Vega has an incredible walk speed for a good reason, learn how to use his mobility to create a hazard for them at all angles. You have a wall jump that can be used as early or as late as you want in a jump (to a degree) that most players forget about until it’s an issue.

Lastly, know when, where, and how to use his air grab. You have no idea how many players will mellow out with their jumping when you’ve air-grabbed them more than once or twice in a round. It’s not something to rely on, but it’s something you should know how to utilize it to put the game back in your hands. Hopefully this ridiculous wall of “half-baked” goodies is enough to start the hustle.

To close this out, I’ll give you a video of tournament play against a really strong local (Abel) player who ran through me. It was the first time I’d come across an Abel in tournament, and the way he played Abel was foreign to me. Had I realized what a clean Abel he had, I wouldn’t have risked things that I did back then, but then again-- I tested the waters to see if he had answers for things some players fall for.

Now, while it’s old tournament footage, it has a learning curve. You’ll see obvious errors in my game play, as much as I did when it happened, which was around November of 2014. Now days, I punish with certainty and being less reliant on hoping that when I press buttons things will hit. I typically ensure my combos now, and if something drops, I see how they react.

If you pay attention, he caught me in a panic and bodied me in one of the rounds with his Tornado Throw like 4 or 5 times in a row. Using my CH, low-forward reset was clever at first, but it only works here and there. I was literally playing with the gimmick too much, and a neutral jump stopped all my risky play. So if you showed some footage of you losing, I figured I’d share the same. There’s nothing wrong with losing, so long as you learn from it.

If you want, there’s a bonus video from the same tournament. A local who came out and played Cammy, which I thought was a casual match at first. However, after the first game, I realized it was pool play. So, with my mind not in check, I did end up losing to the Cammy. I was a little bummed out, because I know I could beat that Cammy (at the time, anyway) as my brother played a nasty Cammy.

On paper, Cammy should have Vega in check with her options. However, knowing what makes her dangerous has answers in itself. Preemptive play in some match-ups is completely necessary after you’ve observed some habits of common (Insert character here) players. All in all, I hadn’t really looked at all the new stuff that came with Ultra back then, it was just wanting to play with the idea that some of the unblockable stuff could be avoided in certain situations, etc.

It’s no excuse for my game play to be so poor, so when the footage was uploaded, I watched it many times over to see what I’d done wrong. Where I took risks that I shouldn’t have, when I got too confident in confirms, or when I found myself confused. There’s a lot of clarity to watching yourself play, and watching high-level Vega players play. I think Cammy v Vega is definitely even at the highest level, but that goes with a lot of match ups.

Overall, just practice improving your most fundamental play. That’s what I ended up doing after the tourney that happened above. I spent hours at home, after work just researching how I could answer Abel mix-ups, when I could actually push buttons in between his Change of Direction and so on. So just practice. Don’t get mad either. If you start getting frustrated, watch a couple of the replays that got you mad.

Watch, analyze, take the situation(s) to Training Room and record your dummy to do whatever setup ripped you up. Learn how to set it up, then learn how to deal with it. I normally wouldn’t bother spending so much time to edit, re-edit, add and subtract all these details if I didn’t think they’d help. There’s a lot you’ll want to learn about the game, and fighting games in general. If you know a lot of it, then that’s a huge plus. If not, it doesn’t take long to understand. Once you start to understand how it works with one character, the rest sort of ease into understanding too. Anyway, I’ll let you get to the work.

Hope it helps.

Update: After watching both videos a few times over, I decided I’d give some basic insight on the Makoto game. Makoto puts out amazing damage, and she shares a similarity with Vega: They’re both meter dependent. She has her Tsurugi, and that thing is an issue in the footsies game, so you have to shut down a Makoto’s comfort level with that, knowing where to look for it. If there is a Makoto using it as a poke, it’s a tough one to punish if you’re not ready. It takes about 11 frames to recover if it whiffs.

Makoto has an issue with being grabbed, and when that threat comes at a range, it’s a whole new struggle for her entirely. Be warned, she’s just as unique in ways that can put Vega on the ropes real quick. She’s explosive, and good Makoto players will be when they smell fear or worse - see weakness.

I find Vega has good buttons against Makoto when they’re calculated in the fight against her. Standing light kick (short), is a major whiff punish button. Throw one or two at a max range, and throw a heavy kick behind it (standing roundhouse) because it links! Another follow up would be the crouching medium kick (forward). You need to constantly remind yourself to use all of Vega’s tools. His overhead is a little lacking, but it’s useful when someone has a solid defense. Create a dynamic with how you move. Use a creepy shimmy, or a weird approach before pressing buttons, using your kara-grab, overhead, and even just to block and see what the other player does.
(This does not include characters with a command throw, unless at a distance)

Some things you could work on, in a good way:
• Practice your bread and butter combos.

  • Both sides of the screen, max damage, and even the character specific ones for extra measure.
    • Know where your buttons are valid. Spacing is important when you play Vega.
  • I saw a lot of good attempts at the anti-air use of your heavy kick, but you can actually back up a little bit and then press the button to ensure you hit with the tip of your toe, and in case you trade they can’t follow up.
    • Kara Grab
  • It’s an essential piece of your offense, it’s underestimated all too often. A kara-grab, back throw can change the entire match. It’s something you can use as the start of a Claw vortex, meter permitting.
    • Air Grab
  • Use it sparingly, but also don’t be afraid to abuse it if it’s something they can’t seem to understand. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve simply anti-aired 3 or 4 consecutive jump-ins with no results of them changing their mind. For some reason, an air grab always tends to get someone to jump less.
    • Meter…
  • Learn every kind of combo, practice until you have it down. I find that landing a jump-in with Vega can turn into huge damage.
    (Example: J. Heavy Kick -> st. Heavy Punch xx EX RCF (link) -> st. Heavy Kick (or cr. Medium Punch)
    • Safe Jumps
  • Yes, it’s boring. It’s a calculated style of play that feels so lackluster, and “Brain dead”, but it’s hardly ever something that fails. After a back-throw, you can jump immediately at 85% of the characters. Usually a jump-in Medium Punch (late so it hits deep) and from there you can choose what to do, but I wouldn’t recommend challenging characters with an uppercut, or any kind of invincible wake-up option. The jump in pressure is a lock down method, not a vortex. The button you press after that jump-in Medium Punch isn’t safe. So a kara-grab is fine, a back-dash can be deceiving, and just blocking sometimes does the trick.

Sorry if this seems like a lot to take in, but it’s just a lot for me to see. I figured I’d share what I know, what you can use, and what I saw lacking. One thing you can be sure of: When Makoto doesn’t have meter, Vega has a pretty good way of keeping her locked up. Her base movement is slow, and spotting when and where a Makoto is likely to dash, is a good way to set up punishes for their habits.

Makoto can hurt Vega suprisingly, so I pick M.Bison instead, Bison can rape her

Yes, Makoto can explode. However, without meter, she’s in quite a bind in the match-up. A good Makoto will body a Bison, btw. It’s obviously not free, but Misse has been dishing out some serious spankings to Bison players, and the solid Makoto players have been just drinking up the “tech” if you will, with how to keep him in line.

Vega and Makoto play honest with each other, for the most part. Like I said, without meter, you can apply a very strong pressure that will have her taking punishable risks, and sometimes making the great jump. So ST and air grabs, jump-back strong or roundhouse if you’re the first one to leave the ground; it all adds up. W-Ultra serves well in the match up too. Especially if there’s a lot of wake up focus-backdashing. OS an Ultra 1, and have her take that ride.

Another thing to note, is that Claw (Vega) is a footsies-heavy character. This may be a bit late, but it’s always good to learn. Now some people may, or may not be a fan of Juicebox, but I think he had a really good way of breaking down footsies, and how to use training mode to train and understand. Some other things to know, is other characters will have footsies as well, not just Vega. With that said, the following video should help if you take away from it.

Reminder: Frame data is important to know as well. What moves from other people are punishable, as well as what you use. Typically you should be aware of meter management, and knowing when to put down pressure, and when to let another player really end the game by stepping right into the keep-away, and ‘zoning’ game that Vega is known for. Angled jumps can usually be anti aired, and watching game play from high level Vega players will help.

  • Reiketsu
  • Chris King
  • Zeus
  • Makoto Vega

All of them will help you understand what they’re getting at if you look up frame data, and make a play style of your own, but stick to the fundamentals of Vega. Hopefully all of that helped, and don’t take after my poor tourney play. There’s a lot to take in, but it’s worth noting as much information as you can.