Hello-I never post here and probably will never check back, but I was checking the state of the forums for some Dudley matchup experience when I stumbled across this post (also I couldn’t find the matchup tips as everything is convoluted and outdated).
I have been playing Dudley for a long time now and there are several things you need to take into consideration while learning him or you’ll be wasting your time and need to relearn them later.
If you follow these rules to a T then you should be on the right path–but they aren’t easy.
If you’re close enough to use cr.lk or cr.lp, never use cr.lp. This is for two reasons. First, when you cr.lp they can block it either way and you aren’t putting the fear of your high/low mixup into your opponent. Second, you can’t crouch-tech with cr.lp so you’re forcing yourself into bad habits that you’ll exhibit once you finally really understand your character.
Any time you use st.hk you need to be p.linking it. If you aren’t p.linking every single one, you’re making yourself weaker. You should practice p.linking in training until you can do ~50 back to back p.links. There are several tutorial videos, but remember that perfect practice makes perfect. So you need to understand the technique behind it. (I recommend simply putting one finger slightly below the other as they fall)
fwd.hk,cr.lp,st.hk XX combo is a cop-out that will make you do less damage and has the additional downsides of whiffing on opponents further away, and even closely if you hit it meaty enough (even on larger characters). You should practice fwd.hk,st.hk XX combo. It’s difficult, but you have the time to hit confirm it before throwing out exMGB --while learning you may want to simply cancel it into a safer lpMGB.
Dudley has very few zoning tools. This is something most players don’t understand about Dudley. He’s very weak to legitimately good zoning tools. So you have to really master your few decent ones. These are st.hp, fwd.st.hp (unusable against characters with a 2 frame punish), focus attack (unusable against a lot of the cast at higher levels), cr.mk (of which you should always hide a crouch-tech in the input for the Ken matchup), and cr.hk (use very sparingly). Also an honorable mention of fwd.mp as it is a legitimately good poke but you can’t get anything off of it unless you’re too close to make the poke worthwhile. It’s worth noting that cr.mp is not a very good tool to poke with, even though you can buffer a mpMGB to come out, in the same situations you might as well have thrown out a st.hk buffering the exMGB.
Dudley has some pretty flashy combos that use large amounts of meter and do heavy stun. Most of them are useless as they do far less damage and use far more meter than his BnBs. There are some situations where it might be useful to do a exMGB or cr.hk into 3 ex ducking straights followed by ultra, but most of the time the extra stun is not worth the meter.
Dudley has several chain combos. Forget them. They’re useless outside of a couple of particularly flashy combos that do way less damage than they should. You can pick them up again once you’re very strong with the character and want to show off with these inefficient moves.
Dudley likes to get in close and frame trap opponents. Alternate between perfectly timed fwd.mks, cr.lps (at specific ranges), cr.lks (with lp for crouch-techs), st.hks, and occasionally cr.mk or fwd.mp. Most of these you will be able to combo off of every time you get the slightest tap on them, and you can continue your pressure with fwd.mk as it moves you closer. Getting this frame trap game down, and keeping people guessing with it is important. Once you’ve gotten the timing of this down then add in Dudley’s overhead, and learn the spacing for a mkSSB for a frametrap. Do not rely too heavily on cr.lp xx lpMGB as a tool to pressure opponents. It is a good tool and should be used, but it is a low risk and low reward move that will be figured out and will not help you become a better player.
Dudley has few good anti-airs. His st.mk is the quickest and probably the best normal for the task. Use cr.mk or cr.hk if the situation calls for them (cr.hk is great in some matchups, horrific in others). Use cr.hp sparingly, and st.hp or st.hk very rarely. Only use ex CC, or any CC for that matter, if you are positive that they will hit you in the situation (ex: you can see a tatsu coming and they mistimed it) then make sure you put an ultra 2 on the end of the ex CC. His best anti-air is lpJU (srk) which will trade and alow you to do a ducking straight, possibly into ultra 2, or hkJU (srk), or as many ex ducking straights as you have the meter for.
Getting in with Dudley is a delicate process. Against the average player, you’ll merely have to catch one of their normals with a st.hk and your buffered MGB will put you in and near a corner or you can simply spam st.hp against them and they’ll eat massive amounts of damage for nothing. Against better players you’ll have to condition them. Dudley can’t outpoke most of the cast (even though his st.hp is an amazing tool with ridiculous active frames). This is a huge downside for Dudley, but if players know that they can stuff your pokes with their own then that’s what they’ll be focusing on, and you can jump in against them (not over and over, but occasionally) so that they have to focus on more than just one angle of approach. If they’re anticipating a jump then they won’t be as on-point on the ground and vice-versa. The game gets more delicate when they have their ultra up. You can no longer jump at all and have to get in another way. If they’re still trying to stuff your pokes then you have three decent options. You can time an ex.SSB against one of their attacks so that when they try to punish a poke you get in safely. You can ducking straight then FADC. or you can focus through a poke and dash closer (although if the attack they used is cancelable you’ll likely eat a special-canceled attack). Poking their pokes with your cr.mk is possible but very difficult as it starts up after a whopping 7 frames (and although it’s getting faster, it will still be slower than a lot of sweeps).
I ended up getting far more in-depth than I had intended. There’s more to learn about Dudley and he’s a very fun and powerful character. As a final note I’ll say ignore ultra 1, and good luck.