How to deal with Akuma


Enough with talking about whether he’s broken or too good, that’s an argument for a different thread and a different day (in my opinion, a fairly far-off day). We’re not going to be able to say for sure that he should be banned unless we know exactly what everyone else can do against him, so what we need to do now is figure out what each character can do to deal with him and how effective each character can be against him. Every character has at least some options, so post up what you know and try to be specific. If you don’t have anything to add but have no idea how to get around something, then ask how to get around it, and if nobody has an answer I’ll add and italicize the question as something that needs to be addressed. If you find out that something on here is wrong or if there’s a better way to deal with something than what’s on here, please let me know.

I’m going to try to keep this first post updated with general and character-specific ways to get around his bs. I only know how to use a couple characters in this game, so I’m gonna need a lot of help here!

In General
–How do I deal with meaty air fireball?
-----You can block air fireballs low
-----If you block a jumping toward air fireball and Akuma is now right on you, you have to guess between throwing, blocking low, and holding up or doing a reversal to escape a demon attempt
-----Most characters can do a wakeup attack that hits Akuma but then also gets hit by the air fireball; this is usually a good trade, since it gets Akuma off your back and usually does more damage to Akuma than it does to you
–How do I deal with regular air fireball?
-----Akuma has no recovery and has trip guard after landing from an air fireball, so if you walk under or neutralize the air fireball and you want to punish him, you have to do it before he lands
–How do I deal with the demon?
-----There is a 75% chance that the demon cannot be jumped out of from blockstun
-----If you’re crouching when the demon gets next to you, you can’t jump out
-----Try not to crouch right next to a waking Akuma, since if he does demon, you’ll get hit
-----The following reversal moves can escape a point blank demon:
---------Akuma: fierce dragon punch, counter demon
---------Balrog/Boxer: fierce headbutt
---------Bison/Dictator: devil’s reverse, super
---------Blanka: up ball
---------Cammy: roundhouse cannon spike, super
---------Chun: upkicks
---------DeeJay: upkicks
---------Dhalsim: teleport
---------Fei: roundhouse flame kick
---------Guile: roundhouse flash kick
---------Honda: buttslam, fierce headbutt
---------Ken: fierce dragon punch, super
---------Ryu: fierce dragon punch
---------Sagat: fierce uppercut, super
---------T Hawk: fierce uppercut
---------Vega/Claw: nothing
---------Zangief: nothing
-----If you’re at the spot where his demon ends, do a jumping attack or far meaty attack timed to hit him out of his very few recovery frames at the end of the demon, then continue into a combo
–Can I do a meaty regular or crossup jump-in on Akuma?
-----Short story: no, not safely
-----His fireballs are invincible on startup and have really dumb hitboxes that get pushed all the way to his back, which makes them good as a way to beat crossups because most crossups don’t hit the opponent’s back side
-----His dragon punch has 1 frame of start up and is fully invincible, so it will always beat jump-ins
-----Wakeup demon beats crossups
–How should I deal with Akuma’s sick wakeup game?
-----No safe jumps, so don’t jump in
-----If you’re standing outside of his dragon punch range to try to bait a dp, just stand there instead of holding block, because if you hold back or down-back, you might not be able to escape a wakup demon


–How do I deal with meaty air fireball?
-----Do reversal headbutts with piano input, at worst you’ll trade
-----Do NOT try the super unless you need to avoid chip damage
-----Crossup air fireball is a little bit harder for Akuma to do on Boxer than on anyone else, so watch for whiffs and throw him
–How do I deal with regular air fireball?
-----Headbutt doesn’t go through air fireballs until Akum is lower to the ground
-----The super works as long as you’re close to the fireball
-----If Akuma does a jump back fireball from midscreen, the super may not be able to hit him; save it for when he throws air fireballs in the corner, and do the super with kick and hold kick the entire time
-----If Akuma jumps back with an air fireball from midscreen, perform a fierce low rush as the fireball is about to hit the ground; this will stop him from doing anything except DP or another air fireball (which you can headbutt if you see him jump); f you’re within range for a strong low rush, this becomes much easier
-----If Akuma jumps toward you with an air fireball, you may be able to trade with j.strong or hit him with controllable neutral jump fierce, depending on distance
-----Another approach is to simply hang back and build meter during air fireball keepaway
–What do I do after a knockdown?
-----Obviously, don’t jump in on Akuma
-----The whiffed low dash upper mixup doesn’t really work on Akuma either, since his DP always beats the headbutt
-----The best idea is to hang around close-mid range; remember, you can charge TAP with just short and roundhouse and still outpoke him with low forward because you can now use the 3rd button of the TAP up to level 2, and that’s enough time to work your mind games on wakeup
–Other stuff
-----Akuma’s teleport avoids low rush, but not any of your other specials
-----If Akuma switches to a ground fireball game, you can safely headbutt through fireballs ala the Ryu matchup as long as you’re at a range where he can’t demon your headbutt on reaction

–How do I deal with meaty air fireball?
-----Use super to escape
-----If it’s not a crossup air fireball, you can devil’s reverse out
-----If it’s a crossup and you don’t have super, just block and deal with the mixup after
–How do I deal with regular air fireball?
-----Play at about your standing roundhouse range so that you can react to air fireballs with a jump roundhouse
-----From far away, do a high stomp; this is especially useful against runaway corner turtles
–How should I deal with Akuma’s sick wakeup game?
-----Treat him like Ken, basically
–Any other random stuff?
-----Scissors and psycho are good options if you expect him to do anything other than fireball or air fireball
-----Be aware that after he blocks your scissors, he can do jab dp and he’s totally safe

–How do I deal with meaty air fireball?
-----If Akuma is going to cross you up, just crouch block and deal with the mixup after with up ball or back hop or something
-----If Akuma is not going to cross you up and if the fireball is going to hit towards the front of your sprite, you can back hop out
–How do I deal with regular air fireball?
-----If you’re at some distance, jump over the fireball and hit Akuma with jumping strong or jumping roundhouse
-----If Akuma does tiger knee air fireball, you can neutral jump roundhouse to knock him out of it or trade, which is fine for you
–How do I deal with the demon?
-----Up ball right out of there

–How do I deal with meaty air fireball?
-----Reversal cannon spike trades with air fireball, damage is hugely in your favor

–How do I deal with regular air fireballs?
-----If he’s jumping toward you, neutral jumping roundhouse can work
-----If he’s neutral jumping or jumping toward you, you can walk under and hit him out of the air
-----If he’s jumping back, there’s not much you can do besides a preemptive jumping short or forward

–How do I deal with regular jump toward air fireball?
-----Machine gun upper beats it clean and hits Akuma out of the air (also trades with jumping roundhouse)
–How do I deal with a waking Akuma?
-----Going for the crossup isn’t safe, Akuma has too many good ways to solve it
-----Better to try to bait a wakeup dp then slide, standing roundhouse, or max out

–How do I deal with meaty air fireball?
-----Teleport right out
–How do I deal with regular jumping toward air fireball?
-----Jumping fierce, jumping roundhouse, and jumping go over the air fireball and hit Akuma
–How do I deal with ground fireballs?
-----Like with Ken and Ryu, you can short drill right over them
-----Can also slide under
-----Yoga fire is good here
-----Yoga flame is also good, since it neutralizes Akuma’s fireballs and beats hurricane kick
–How do I deal with the demon?
-----Teleport right out of there, man
–Any other random stuff?
-----Akuma’s jumping roundhouse beats your antiair slide, do back+jab, standing forward, or standing fierce instead
-----Akuma’s standing forward and roundhouse beat your drills
-----You can turtle better than he can; poke preemptively less, try to punish more than usual
-----Your safest move on his wakeup is max range yoga flame, but if he has super ready, that’s not safe either; fake a yoga flame by ducking then doing shenanigans

Fei Long

–How do I deal with meaty air fireballs?
-----If Akuma goes for a deep crossup air fireball, you can roundhouse flash kick him to knock him out of the air and escape the fireball; the goal is to get just the back end of your flash kick to hit him
–How do I deal with regular air fireball?
-----If Akuma jumps a sonic boom and goes for the air fireball, deal with the fireball by walking under it and throwing/beating Akuma’s ass when he lands
-----If he’s neutral jumping or jumping toward you, you can walk under and hit him out of the air
-----If he’s neutral jumping or jumping toward you at a distance where the fireball will barely hit you, you can do an early short or forward flash kick to hit him and evade the fireball

–How do I deal with meaty air fireball?
-----At angles where the air fireball will hit you and Akuma will cross you up, you can always buttslam out. Forward buttslam will hit him out of the air from most angles
-----At angles where the air fireball will hit you and Akuma won’t cross you up, you can still roundhouse buttslam out
–How do I deal with regular air fireball?
-----If he’s neutral jumping, jumping toward you, or jumping back with an air fireball, jab headbutt and super go right through and hit him as long as the fireball doesn’t hit your startup
-----If he’s neutral jumping, jumping toward you, or jumping back with an air fireball, forward buttslam hits him out of it
-----Depending on where in the jump he threw the fireball and how far away you are, if you’re outside of the fireball range you can do toward+roundhouse to catch him just before he lands; this trades sometimes, but that’s usually fine
–How do I deal with the demon?
-----Honda can always forward or roundhouse buttslam out of the demon; you’re immediately unthrowable, so the demon won’t get you, and you’ll move far in the direction opposite the direction Akuma moves, so you’ll get out every time
-----If Akuma does the demon far enough away so that you’re guaranteed to be able to jump over him, then do neutral jump fierce to get over him
–Strong and fierce red fireballs beat jab headbutt and super; what do I do?
-----Don’t do jab headbutt until you see what kind of fireball is coming out; if it’s a strong or fierce red fireball, don’t do it
-----Since strong and fierce fireballs have such long startup and recovery, you can jump over and tag him with a jumping roundhouse from most of a screen away on reaction
-----Don’t do super against Akuma except if he’s in the air or you need to throw up a prayer, it’s not worth risking the beefy damage you’ll eat from his dp after he blocks the first hit of your super
-----Once Akuma figures out that you know how to deal with red fireballs, he’s gonna do them a whole lot less
–Akuma’s regular blue fireballs are hard to get around; what do I do?
-----This part of the matchup is very similar to the getting-in part of the Ryu and Ken matchups
-----The most dependable way to get around them is to neutral jump over them with controllable fierce
-----After that, consider jab headbutt, walking up and blocking on reaction, jumping toward from far away, jumping toward with the new short, or jumping toward roundhouse
-----Akuma’s fireballs are all pretty fast, so you can jump over them pretty easily on reaction without having to worry about whether they’re too slow for you to be able to get over
-----Akuma’s standing roundhouse and standing forward have awesome hitboxes, but your jumping short can trade with them
–How should I deal with Akuma’s sick wakeup game?
-----This is basically the same as what you’d do against Ryu
-----Max range standing jab is safe against all wakeup special moves, but Akuma’s wakeup fireball is also safe against your jab and pushes you back out; in order to get around this, be sure you occasionally do a meaty longer-range attack (to hit the back part of his sprite, which is the only place he’s vulnerable at the start of his fireballs) or slaps
-----Is max range standing jab safe against wakeup demon? Pretty sure it should be

–How do I deal with meaty air fireball?
-----Strong dragon punch goes right through
–How do I deal with regular air fireball?
-----Strong dragon punch goes right through


–How do I deal with meaty air fireball?
-----As long as Akuma doesn’t do it from far away, uppercut trades with it to your advantage
-----If he does it from far away, tiger knee trades with it
-----Super goes through it and juggles Akuma
–How do I deal with regular air fireball?
-----You can tiger knee it at some ranges and timings
-----Again, super goes right through it and hits Akuma

T Hawk
–How do I deal with meaty air fireball?

–How do I deal with regular air fireball?
-----If he’s jumping back or neutral jumping at a range where he won’t hit you, take the opportunity to either walk toward him or whiff a 360 or two to build meter
-----If he’s jumping toward you or neutral jumping, jab or fierce dragon punch hits him but trades, although that’s usually fine
–Other stuff
-----Akuma’s standing forward and roundhouse beat your dive easily
-----The only time dives are useful is if you see Akuma use a red fireball

–How do I deal with regular air fireball?
-----If he’s jumping toward you, flipkick safely knocks Akuma out of the air, although the timing is very strict; a trade isn’t great here, since one hit of the flipkick doesn’t do much damage
-----If he’s neutral jumping or jumping toward you, can always backflip out, but this isn’t that great because it puts you closer to the corner
–How do I deal with Akuma’s ground game?
-----Just treat it like you’re playing against Ryu or Ken, it’s pretty much the same and you have the advantage

–How do I deal with meaty air fireball?
-----If Akuma is still over your head when you wake up, just block
-----If Akuma is next to you or just above you but the fireball isn’t a very deep meaty, do punch lariat to trade in your favor
-----If Akuma throws the fireball as a deep meaty and is next to you in the air as you wake up, do kick lariat to beat him out of the air and let the fireball pass through your invincible feet
–How do I deal with regular air jump back or neutral jump air fireball?
-----If he’s neutral jumping, you can catch him right when he throws the fireball with jumping strong
-----Green hand seems to nullify things starting right after Gief’s back is turned, and it seems to go from nullifying high fireballs to regular ground fireballs as the hand goes from high/back to low/forward; time the hand early to nullify higher air fireballs
-----If you nullify an air fireball, lariat him out of the air; don’t wait until he lands to try to grab him because he recovers immediately and can escape the spd
-----If he’s jumping at you, you can crouch and do kick lariat just before the air fireball hits so that you knock Akuma out of the air and let the air fireball pass through your invincible feet
-----If he’s neutral jumping or jumping toward you at a range where the fireball will hit your feet, kick lariat to go through the fireball; beware of demon attempts as he lands
–How do I deal with the demon?
-----None of your reversals gets you out of it, so just try to hold jump on reaction
-----Don’t do punch lariat against an Akuma who’s within a quarter of a screen of you or so unless on reaction to a fireball and don’t do even kick lariat if you’re closer; if you do, demon grabs lariat for free
–Akuma can zone me out with ground fireballs and his awesome normals; what do I do?
-----Deal with them like you would Ryu and Ken
–How should I deal with Akuma’s sick wakeup game?
-----You can’t safe jump Akuma, so don’t jump in
-----Deal with his wakeup like Ken’s; mix up between doing a meaty attack and baiting a dp into spd


Good call - just hope everoyne can keep this thread unbiased.

Bison -
There’s not much you can do when he does jumping fireballs on wake up, so just block high or low and deal with the guessing game. This is nothing new - Bison has a similar problem with any fireball character.

Avoiding this situation is key. You don’t want to throw out random s.rh no matter how sexy landing one or two might be - Akuma is pretty hard to dizzy anyways, so it’d not very likely you’ll win by landing 3 kicks as you will with most other characters. Every s.rh risks eating a jab SRK, which brings you to the above wakeup game. You can do them to keep him honest with short range fireballs or hurricane kicks of course, but be very wary of psychic DPs.

When he’s playing run away, you have to be patient working your way in. You want to be at about your s.rh range - you can react to fireballs with a jump, and he can’t move in for any pokes without you being able to react. If he jumps to do an air fireball, you can jump and do roundhouse to knock him out of the air, and make him deal with a wakeup game. From this point, treat him almost exactly like you’d treat Ken - you can get some nasty damage just by winning on a couple pokes if he tries to jump or do any normal after this, and you can punish his jab srk reliably (same rules as Ken - don’t hold back if you expect it, hold neutral outside of range, and then punish with roundhouse).

Psycho crusher and scissors are good options if you expect him to do anything but fireball or air fireball and you have a charge. Be aware that his jab dp after a blocked scissors or PC beats everything you might do, and is totally safe - so he has the chance to mix it up in this situation - be aware that he has the advantage and deal with it accordingly.

I’ve had a lot of luck with headstomp if he wants to air FB. It doesn’t feel safe, Akuma can shoryuken you on reaction with absolute faith if he does anything else, so take it with a grain of salt.

Summary - if you can get past his insane runaway game and avoid dealing with his crazy wakeup, then you’re basically fighting Ken, with some minor differences.


Good thread, UD.

Jump in air fireballs that will not crossup - MGU will beat these clean. It seems to trade with jumping roundhouse and you have to time it early to get the trade.

If he runs away, so far my only hope has been to lull him into a normal fireball routine, then score a j.rh (e.g. what you do to Ryu/Ken), then run away. Once you have a lead on life, cancel as many fireballs as you can, jump the rest, and make him come to you (at which point you can zone him out with maxouts, short upkicks, and MGU.

If you score a knockdown off of him jumping in, it does not seem very safe at all to go for the crossup. What I try to do is bait the wakeup DP, then slide it/st rh it, or maxout it to punish (usually they block the maxout, but chip damage is chip damage).

-So far, J.fierce and Rh seem good for beating obvious air fireballs.

-You can drill over his fireballs, like Ryu or Ken, but the timing is tighter due to his recovery.

-When he plays aggressively, block everything and push him back, being careful not to eat psychic dps. You have to be super conservative here. Fireballs are not safe at all, since his hurricane kick will counter them on reaction from anywhere but full screen or so.

-Turtle Akuma seems to be tough to crack, but the best strategy I’ve had is to get a lead on life and force him to come to me, and eat foot. The lead is attained by drilling a fireball or two, or j.rhing him when he does air fireballs in the corner.

Here are some of my move perceptions that may need correction:

  1. It seems like you cannot slide late jumping roundhouse, and must yoga chop or neutral j.fierce/mk instead
  2. His MK and RH both seem to have higher priority than normal shotos - I’ve been knocked out of drills and jumping attacks that I would not have expected to lose. Course, he could just DP you instead :slight_smile:

-I’ve had some luck doing the high headstomp on corner turtles who do air fireballs for some reason
-I’ve been able to escape the fb crossup with devil’s reverse a few times, but the timing seems tight
-As mentioned elsewhere, it is not safe to safe jump him
-Jumping roundhouse seems to work really well for the dumber Akumas who try close range air fireballs. J.MP seems to do OK as well.

That’s mostly tentative stuff, but I hope some of it helps, and some better players can correct it where I am wrong :slight_smile:




(0:42 and then again around 0:50) Guile throws a sonic boom and (on reaction) Akuma jumps for a air fireball. Guile is able to recover fast enough to walk under the air hadoken and throw Akuma. It appears this is doable from as far as half screen, the closer Guile is, the easier to do.


sagats tiger uppercut will trade at the right angles definitely in his advantage.

also, his super will eat his air fireball clean


Ooh, nice. I was about to throw together this thread myself.

One can reversal the demon, even if you can’t jump out, right? Probably be best to point out any move that gets you off the ground fast enough tends to have akuma blow right through you. So Cammy’s cannon drill is one of those…I think so are Blanka’s balls?


I’ve got some stuff to add for Dhalsim:

  • In general, I alternate between mid-range poking and run-away tactics. You don’t want to get too close to him very often because he’s the most dangerous to you there.

  • You can turtle even better than he can. Once you get ahead in life remember that. Simply nullify or avoid his fireballs from full screen, and occasionally step in to poke him from half screen away. If he starts to push you back into the corner you can slide, drill, or teleport away.

  • You have to be more patient and careful than the way you play most shotos. Try to bait his attacks and punish with pokes more than you normally would, and poke pre-emptively less. Remember, you’re in control until you get knocked down.

  • Most of the time you’re often better off attacking him from the air than from the ground. This is because you can go past his crazy hit boxes from above and hit him in the head, rather than trying to get through his boxes on the ground.

  • j.MK is another attack that works really well against Akuma when he jumps around to do air fireballs. It also works well to tag him on his head from far away when he’s on the ground after a whiffed move.

  • Don’t forget that drills can also work well in air-to-air situations.

  • If you get him cornered and knock him down your safest move during wake-up is a yoga flame from max distance. But only if he doesn’t have meter!

  • If you have meter, don’t be afraid to use your super right after a blocked wake-up flame in the corner for chip damage. Since you’ll both be running away a lot, you can build it back up easily.

  • If you condition him with the above and then get him cornered while he does have meter, fake a yoga flame by ducking quickly and try to bait out his super. Since you’re at max flame distance, it should be easy to jump out of the way on reaction.

  • On the ground, you should usually prefer yoga flame over yoga fire. It builds more meter and stops his hurricane kicks. Just don’t do a long one too close to him.

  • Yoga fire is still useful sometimes though. Mostly, you’ll use it to nullify his fireballs on reaction if you’re at a safe distance. Don’t use them from too close though. If he does a fireball at a closer range, just jump it or slide under it. You can also use a fire immediately when he jumps back. Every once in a while you can get it to go under his air fireball and make him land on it.

  • If he tries to go for raging demon setups, try to teleport out of there!

PS: Good thread idea Ultra!


This is exactly what I have been looking for, I am interested to see more in detail strats for Guile and Gat.

Bang ups for getting the ball rolling Ultra.


please correct the original post: afaik all of akumas srks hit after frame 1 making safe jumps impossible.


I know it’s not the point of the topic, but his fireballs have no hitbox at all at the start. Both blue and red.


I don’t know about this, I’ve been pressuring Akuma just like I pressure Ryu, and it’s been working.


I “deal with him” by leaving and finding another opponent :wgrin:.


Brian is right, safe jumps against Akuma are impossible.


Duly noted.



Against neutral/forward air fireball I use st.RH to trade.


E. Honda’s headbutt goes straight through raging demon, and they just pass by each other


Claw/Dhalsim sliding under air fireball is good too.

I play Gief and Hawk mostly so I’ll throw some shit out that helps me:

Something I like doing when I get into sweep range is just jump straight up, giving the illusion that I will make an attempt to jump in at him. If he does DP, you have a bit of a mind game going for you:

  1. Sweep/Lariat into knockdown for oki shit.

2.Try the ground headbutt into SPD(if out of sweep range) which COULD backfire if you don’t enter the commands fast enough.

  1. Walk forward then back quickly if you just want to gauge how dumb this particular Akuma is.

If he jumps at you, fierce does nicely to swat him back and puts you back into the mind game.

Not saying it’ll work against all Akumas all of the time, but if you at least remember the fundamentals of playing Gief, you can get through this.

Hawk is even better in this situation imho.


Doesn’t Zangief’s reversal SPD work well after blocking Air Hadokens? IIRC, even if it’s a neutral jump Air Hadoken, and Zangief is out of range of the Air Hadoken, he’s STILL in range for a free SPD when Akuma lands.


Ultradavid, you put in my Guile contribution incorrectly. The sonic boom doesn’t block the air fireball. This was what to do if he jumps a sonic boom and goes for the air fireball. You deal with the fireball by walking under it and throwing/beating Akuma’s ass when he lands. It’s a much better alternative to blocking the air fireball and getting tick throwed.


Another correction: Akuma has no landing frames from an air fireball. So say you walk under one, and then make him land on sweep, he can block it. I tested this out with Sirlin the other day. I’m also pretty sure it follows that he can jump out of a throw (or throw you first), though we didnt test this. If you walk under an airfireball, you have to hit him while he’s still in the air (with as damaging an attack as you can… say standing fierce).

I imagine Ryu would want to do walk under, jump strongx3, same for dic.

So basically, if you walk under an airfireball, you generally get to hit him with a fierce, but if you guess wrong and he does a normal attack instead, you take 100% damage from a full combo that will dizzy you.