How and when to use FA properly?

i KNOW this topic has been asked before, but i tried the search function and couldn’t find anything so here i am…

i feel that i’m missing a huge element of the game because i don’t untilize focus attacks AT ALL. i mean, i use them on dizzied opponents, but besides that, i never let it rip. my question is, HOW and WHEN should they be used? here’s what i know and have seen about them:

-FA a jump-in and punish on land
-FA a predicted sweep or random pressed button
-FA back-dash a jump-in
-FA on wake-up and back-dash
-FADC a move into a throw, back-dash or ultra

here’s what happens when they are done to me:
-my jump-in is FA absorbed and when i land, i get crumpled.
am i hitting my jump-in too early? because i’ve tried mashing cr.jab after the hit to hit them out of the FA and it won’t come out. i’ve also tried mashing on throw but that doesn’t work either. is there a certain timing where an anti-air FA is unstoppable?

-i predict a sweep (guile’s is easier to predict), absorb and release, but there is no crumple and i just get thrown after my FA hits. i know a counter hit crumples, even on level 1 FA’s, but why isn’t mine comboing?

-i can FA absorb into back-dash, but i just don’t know when to use it and when to block. is it determined by spacing? is this viable, or do the OS beat this unless you’re a character with a ridiculous back-dash (like chun)?

-FAing on wake-up is a little tricker since i can’t hold it down when i’m downed and have to wait until my character is up, but is there a use for it besides a counter to elf’s splash loop?

btw, i use sakura, and it seems that i get thrown out of my FA even though she looks like the’s jumping. is her FA considered air-borne?

thanks for any help you guys can provide.

You have to block when you jump in to a focus attack (or use an invincible move). Your jump in gets absorbed, immediately be blocking.

Counter hits only happen when you hit someone out of the start of up their move. Hitting someone out of their recovery (the end of a sweep) with a level 1 is not a counter hit. Charge it to a level 2 in order to get the crumple (the little explosion of black ink with the explosion sound effect)

It depends on what you’re absorbing before you backdash. Need more information to give better advice.

Wake up Focus can stop meaty attacks I’m pretty sure so yeah they can be used on wake up for lots of things but, most people aren’t going to just hit you once on wake up.

Focus attacks are not airbourne and you can be thrown out of them at any time.

There are not very good tutorials on when and where to use focus attacks. It’s interesting.

this is an interesting topic because i also dont have focus attacks in my game at all and they annoy the shit out of me. i hate it when someone makes me crumple of a jump in or some other time they use the FA. I need to learn to implement them into my game so as to get free combos off a crumple. the problem is trying to utilize them when you dont really know how hahaha.

It can also be dependant on your character, as FAs all have varying ranges and properties. Eg; Fei’s is long and fast, whilst Boxer’s is short and hits upwards, and Seth’s moves him forwards a long way and can be helpful if you release it by accident etc.

It also depends on the your character’s dashes as well, if you’re focus back dashing with Sagat you’re chances of escaping aren’t so great when compared to Chun’s.

Personally, I like to catch pokes with FAs by focus cancelling once or twice at the opponent’s farthest poke range. You can get a few results from this;

  • You cancel backwards and they do nothing
  • You cancel backwards and they poke, sometimes you’ll be left with enough time to hit them with a ranged special (thinking of Fei’s Rekkas here specifically right now)
  • You release it at level 1, they block it, you dash backwards
  • You release it at level 1, they start a poke and get counter hit and crumpled > combo of choice
  • You cancel forwards, you’re largely vulnerable in this case and unless you’re sure they’re not going to throw a move out you’re probably going to get hit by something
  • You release, they block and you dash forwards. In this case you’re probably going to eat a 30-50% damage combo

Using FA as a poke and part of your footsies has a fairly good risk vs reward when used approprately IMO, however this is entirely dependant on yours and your opponent’s characters and playstyles. Make sure you know which of each character’s moves break armor (Juri’s Dive Kick, Ryu/Ken/Dan’s Tatsu moves, Rose’s Soul Spiral, Fei Long’s Chicken Wings’ first hit) and which moves have multiple hits (ie Chun’s ariel two hit target combo, Ryu’s solar plexus and collar bone breaker moves etc) and go from there in deciding if you’re likely to be hit out of a focus by those.

Anyway there’s an idea and all I can be bothered writing right now (Y)

Focus Attacks are a complex beast. First of all, they are an unreliable AA even bordering on gimmicky. Rather than doing something reliable to beat an AA, you essentially dice roll things.

When can you use FAs effectively?? Very sparingly when they least expect it. You want to catch pokes and crouch techs with a level 1 FA, then backdash out of there, it’s not that great and damage is pretty crappy imo. I’d go for many more things than an FA here but i use it occasionally. This trick has potential crumple and potential bait after you’ve backdashed on top of doing damage if they poked. It’s common for players to try a throw or poke after you backdash an FA on hit so sometimes you can punish that throw on reaction with a sweep.

Other uses, the very gimmicky FA charge to 1 or 2 and release to hit when they’re about to jump, poke or what not. You know it happens to you when you freeze for a second watching that FA charge then it catches you as try to do something, anything. Add a Backdash in there, and you can bait out other things as well. Maybe Forward dash if you can do an SRK FADC Ultra type move. On top of this release move, if it scares them to stop pushing buttons, You charge up an FA then dash straight away and throw. If they prediction your FA, then you can get comboed hard, or armor broken. With Ryu i catch FAs alot for a good 270+ damage combo, or with a plain old Tatsu for 130. Use it at your own risk.

A level 2 on block gives you frame advantage

I’m just getting tired of this “Focus chicken” It’s all anyone does anymore.

use focus attacks wisely because if you are fighting someone with really good pokes they’ll knock you out of it and sometimes if you do a late hit from a jump in you have enough time to grab the person(sometimes lol) check out which moves can be focus attacked(moves that don’t have armor break) that way it can help your defense/offense out dam in the long run focus attacks are complex in there own special way go to youtube and search in vesper arcade this guy covers a whole section of focus attacks and his video tutorials are very clear and understandable.

Not trying to be a dick, but I only do focus attacks because it makes Cammy look cool. Sometimes I absorb attacks, other times I use it for jump ins (which rarely works since I get thrown before I release), and quite a few times I randomly use it and get caught by an armor breaking move. Its a force of habit.

The only times I can guarantee my Focus Attacks will land are on a whiffed move (dp), and then the lv2-3 gives me enough time to set up my next combo. Other than that, I suck at focus attacks also.