All fireballs are less safe in SFIV; that is, they have more recovery to them. As far as Sagat is concerned, high Tiger Shots recover quicker than low Tiger Shots do. All Tiger Uppercut variations also cover less range in SFIV. Zoning still remains very effective in SFIV, but not to the “Turbo” extend of what you are perhaps used to.
Learn the range of Sagat’s HP Tiger Uppercut. st.HK can still be used as an anti-air just like in Turbo but expect to trade a lot or even lose against some jumping attacks. f+HK is a new anti-air tool that works especially well on floaty characters (i.e., Chun Li and M.Bison). Kara Tiger Uppercuts performed out of f+HKs and f+LKs cover different ranges that can also be used as anti-air attacks, but a complete understanding is required of their ranges.
The Tiger Knee (which can also be used as an anti-air attack even though I generally do not suggest using it as such) is highly improved in this game. The move itself is not safe on block. However, when the tip of Sagat’s Tiger Knee hits, it becomes completely safe on block. It even gives tremendous advantage if your opponent blocks it crouching. You can use this to your advantage when your opponent is just sitting there waiting for you to make a mistake.
This is very hard to do, but I guess…
Zone 1: throw, push out with using a string that ends in a Tiger Knee / Tiger Shot
Zone 2: HP Tiger Uppercut and st.HK for anti-air, LK Tiger Knee if opponent is waiting
Zone 2.5: HP Tiger Uppercut and st.HK for anti-air, MK Tiger Knee if opponent is waiting
Zone 3: HP Tiger Uppercut and st.HK for anti-air, Kara LK Tiger Knee done out of f+HK if opponent is waiting
Zone 3.5: Kara HP Tiger Uppercut done out of f+HK and f+HK for anti air
Zone 4: f+HK and Kara HP Tiger Knee done out of f+LK (can only be done on anticipation) for anti air
Zone 5: Tiger Shot! Let 'em fly!
If you are new to SFIV, I highly suggest you learn these magic ranges that allow for safe Tiger Knees first. The Tiger Knee is perhaps the best special move in the entire game. It is so powerful that Sagat does not even need to zone some characters. He can wreck opponents who have poor reversals with the Tiger Knee up close.
This man speaks the truth, also a kara EX tiger knee clears the entire screen. Particularly useful against the few characters who can actually match Sagat in a FB war, score a knock down from a EX FB or something and then you’re all over them. Also, I started having a lot more success with Sagat once I learned the spacing for his f+HK.
i find it hard to shoot tiger shots in zone 5 but getting them to jump into my TU without them seeing me buffer it. also when they get into zone 1-2 how do i get them out? especially bison he just wails away with the HK and the scissor kicks which i cant punish or get him out of there and i always seem to end up in the corner