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.