Akuma is crazy and N-groove is fun. More people should play this character. (INCLUDING Canadians. I don’t know a single shoto player out of all you bacon eating clowns.)
All frame data and technical info was taken from the Famitsu CvS2 Bible and Buktooth’s translation into his CvS2 Systems Guide. Everybody should read both. Good stuff.
Important moves data:
d.LP 300 +7/+7 o/o/o
13 total frames
This is the shoto’s trademark move. Yielding +7 on the hit or block, nearly all the shoto’s offensive patterns start off with or involve this move in one way or the other. Ken, Ryu, Akuma simply would not be Ken, Ryu, Akuma if they did not have their 3 frame, +7 crouching jab.
d.LK 200 +5+5 o/o/o
15 total frames
Hits just as fast as d.LP, but these must be blocked low. These moves are very useful. +5 frame advantage is fantastic. Like the d.LP, Akuma is left with any offensive option he wants after connecting with one of these.
d.MP 800 +4/+4 x/o/o
22 total frames
Akuma’s second most useful meaty attack after air fireball. Potential +10 as a meaty (not including possible counter hit) to easily link d.HK on a waking opponent. 22 total frames? Bison’s d.MK is 21 frames. I think it goes without saying… build meter with this. Also the safest way to stop rollers on reaction (7 hit frames along with short recovery in case of whiff).
d.MK 700 -1/-1 x/o/o
28 total frames
Although slightly more recovery than d.MP, this move does hit low, hit fast, and has more range than d.MP or d.HK. Try running up and doing this move on offense when you need that quick low hit, but don’t think d.HK will hit in time and/or out of range for run up shorts. Can also be used defensively at close range to keep the opponent from advancing on you. Try you best to make sure your kick makes contact though, as Akuma’s taking a slight risk when he does this (not like whiffing a jab or something). But again, hitting low on the 4th frame and with more range than d.MP makes this a must use in up close footgames.
d.HK 1200 knockdown/-15 x/o/o
47 total frames
The basic shoto sweep. Move is cancelable (important), hits fast, knocks downs, and has good range. Akuma specific: move has high combo potential!
-stand over downed opponent, dash back, d.HK xx hurricane, juggle
far s.HP 1200 -5/-5 x/x/x
39 total frames
Akuma’s longest range normal. Hits mid. Think Yamazaki’s s.HK, but not as good. There is significant (and punishable) whiff recovery. However, this move does hit for 8 frames. Good enough for opponents to accidentally run into thinking the move is over, but get hit instead.
Can be used to take a chunk of guard meter off after a d.HK xx whiff LK hurricane block string (if you don’t get punch in the face by a mashing Sagat first… lol).
s.LK 400 +2/+2
19 total frames
Another useful footsie tool.
far s.HK 1200,1100 -6/-6
Classic shoto anti air. 4 frame startup is very fast. 12 hit frames is a long time. Hits at the angle where anti-air uppercut or d.HP would miss. This move is cancelable on the first couple frames. Run up s.HK xx LK hurricane is useful for juggling opponents out of the air.
3 frame anti-air. Fantastic. Best move to combo damage from too. Frame disadvantage is so bad I’m not even going to list it. Always cancel it into something. d.HP xx LK hurricane will actually juggle opponent’s out of the air. Akuma’s actually the only character in the game who can do something like this outside of CC mode I think.
close s.HP 1100
Generic shoto 3 frame close fierce.
(These ten normals are must know. Remember the frame data inside and out.)
forward j.MK 700
forward j.HK 1000
Does not cross up. Hits one frame slower than j.MK.
forward j.HP 1100
The most damaging jump in attack. Hits exactly as fast as j.MK. The animation deceptively looks like animation for air fireball.
dive kick 800 +10/+15
Very important move to understand. One of those critical moves that make a character what it is. As in, Akuma wouldn’t be Akuma without his dive kick. Many mindgames and attack patterns use this move.
f+MP overhead -3/-3
Akuma leaves himself very open. Make sure you have quick fingers though and cancel into demon every time. Opponents will begin to fear you and jump away every time you do this move accidentally or otherwise.
LK hurricane knockdown/-9
2 frame startup, 17 frame recovery
35 frames total
combo starter/juggle potential
This is the best special move in the entire game in my opinion. To give you an idea how fast a two frame attack is, Ryu’s Shoryuken doesn’t hit until 4 and normal punch throws don’t grab until 3.
air hurricane knockdown/+17(!)
5 frame startup
combo starter/juggle potential
Shoto’s air craziness! Land this air to air and Akuma lands first to let him juggle with running uppercut. Land this air to ground and you can juggle with running uppercut too. The dumb trick with this move is to use it as a crossup. If it hits, juggle. If blocked, fat frame advantage. Move is best used to run away and build meter mostly though.
As fast startup as Ryu’s, but worse frame advantage when blocked. However, this is still Akuma’s best poking attack hands down. Use at midrange (just beyond most character’s sweeps) where you’ll be able to hit the opponent, but he won’t be able to hit you. Do beware the longer recovery of Akuma’s Hadoken than Ryu’s though. Don’t do them at half screen, the range where the opponent will most likely roll or jump in.
Akuma’s Hadoken will also knockdown at close range unlike Ken’s or Ryu’s. As a result, this is a pretty good roll canceled move up close. Also use liberally at the end of properly set up block strings as it does take off a chunk of guard meter.
Hadoken is commonly used as a setup too. Cancel it from a blocked sweep or throw LP version safely when you’re confident you’re not leaving yourself open. Run after it and begin your offense accordingly.
total body invincibility 21~66
This move has ZERO frame startup. Use PPP teleport only, both forwards and backwards. It’s significantly faster than the KKK version. Great for reversals as you’re waking up. Watch out for the 11 frames of recovery though.
HP red fireball knockdown/-10
Lots of chip. Use liberally in patterns against K-groovers. Don’t worry about the frame disadvantage. When canceled from a s.HP, Akuma is pushed back a distance and 99% safe.
Air fireball +20/+20
Awesome frame advantage. Can be used as meaty attack <-- important, as it creates a LOT of forced guess patterns.
Demon flip, punch attack knockdown/+4
+4 is enough to go for a counter hit jab, sweep link combo. Also try to use when opponent’s guard meter is about to break. Cancel from run up s.LK for example. You’re left in perfect distance to d.HP xx super or d.HP xx hurricane. This move can be countered by most character’s jump back HP’s though. Therefore this move is best used sparingly once the opponent smartens up.
-MK demon flip after d.MK xx hadoken
35 frames total
Cancels from d.HK. Use these over a prone opponent to mess with which way he needs to block your short, shorts as he gets up. Try to distance it a step away from point blank so it looks like Akuma will recover right on top of the opponent’s sprite. Hard to tell if Akuma will cross up or not.
Don’t be afraid to cancel this move from d.LP/d.LK patterns up close. Being confident and in proper control of your offense will allow you to take a full guard meter down to flashing if you play your cards right.
2 frame startup (all versions)
HP version has 8 frame total body invincibilty
LP and MP version only have 2 frame total body invincibility (ie. the invincibilty has run out by the time the move hits)
This move hits extremely fast and has juggle pontential out of all things (!). I think Akuma is the only character in the game that can do something like d.HP xx juggle with DP outside of CC mode. Ending hurricane juggles with the one hit version this move always do a CHUNK of damage. Use often.
Supplementary moves data:
(moves not absolutely nessesary to win, but good to have)
12 total frames
hits high/will always whiff crouching characters
close s.MP +1/+1
if for some reason you get bored of meaty d.MP…
far s.MP -1/-1 x/x/o
Has a couple limited uses…
close s.MK +1/+1
27 total frames
Basics (must know):
How to properly tick throw:
Before you do ANYTHING else when learning Akuma, learn his max throw range first. Practice walking up and throwing the opponent from as far away as possible. The range is 52 pixels just like most every other character. Train yourself to be able to recognize this range without having to think twice.
Akuma’s best tick throw moves are his crouching jab and crouching short. On either block or hit, crouching jab and crouching short yield +7 and +5 respectively. Let’s say CvS2 runs at 60 frames per second. Since opponents can’t be thrown while still in hit stun, a 7 frame advantage means you need to wait at least 7/60 of a second before you can attempt a throw. Learn the timing of this. Make sure you’re in the max range of your throw range, and as soon as the opponent’s hit stun properly wears off, go for your throw. Don’t telegraph your intentions by walking forward for during that 7 frame advantage (unless you’re attempting some other kind of crazy mindgame trick). Don’t mistime your throw input and hit punch too early too. Get that timing down for the proper wait and the distancing right for the max range.
close s.LP hits high on even Sagat. The total animation time is also extremely short, but perfectly long enough to set up a throw after a +5 crouching short. Try something like meaty cross up MK, opponent ducks, whiff close s.LP, throw. It’s really fast.
Getting used to the run:
Hit them low. Learn to cancel into all of Akuma’s special moves (ie. light hurricane, fireball, demon flip, etc…)
Comboing with this move looks really nice. Don’t get this confused with running jab in the middle of a match. The execution between the two is very similar, thus easy to mess up one and accidentally do the other.
-run up sweep, qcb+LK (one hit), juggling uppercut OR juggle running uppercut depending on distance
-properly chained crouching shorts x 2-3, cancel into super when hit
-Demon flip punch grab, late qcb+LK (one hit), running uppercut
-d.HP xx qcb+MK, juggle uppercut
(Standing/dizzy opponents only)
-Any low jump attack, qcb+LK, juggle
after a deep meaty crossup MK, you can get crouching shorts to combo actually. I have no idea how meaty air attacks effect frame advantage. I know I got a combo that shouldn’t combo that’s it.
Offensive Basics (general):
If you ever make the opponent block or get hit by a crouching jab or short, there’s no reason to ever let him regain control of the match. Akuma 100% has the initiative. Stay in control of your offense, and ideally, the opponent will soon be overwhelmed. You want to create forced guesses for your opponent using high/low, throw, and counter/baiting tactics.
Force your opponent to want to roll cancel or dragon punch his way out of your offense. If you make your opponent block a deep meaty d.MP, then the opponent is throwing YOU or crouching fiercing his way out, you’re not playing your Akuma correctly.
Know your frame data. What you can and can’t do, and what your opponent can and can’t do at all times.
ex. Opponent blocks d.LK at point blank range. From here, Akuma can choose to wait slightly,walk forward, then try short, short, combo into super if hits OR wait slightly, tick throw. Good players mix these two options up equally. The opponent eats the throw if he just blocks, gets messed by short, short super if he tries to tech and/or mash his way out. Of course when Akuma or the opponent have level 3 meter, alpha counter, CC, or whatever, things become more interesting…
More prerequisite info:
Running has instant startup* as soon as you tap f, f. Running can be canceled by any normal, special, roll, or jump at anytime during it’s execution.
*edit: Run actually has 4 frame startup, so whenever you’re up close, never use the run if you can do the same thing with walk instead. 14 frames of recovery when you let Akuma skid to a stop by himself too. Whiffing a far s.LP (12 frames total) is still faster.
Offense in Depth:
Crouching Jab Madness:
As stated before, d.LP yields a +7 frame advantage on hit or block. It’s the most Akuma is going to get with any normal move he has. No wonder Ohnuki loves this move so much huh? Some things you can do after making the opponent block a point blank d.LP:
-close d.LP, run up d.LK, d.LK xx super
There’s no way for an opponent to escape from this offensive sequence outside of invincible reversals. If they try to jump away after the jab, the low hitting crouching LK’s will snag them before they leave the ground. If they try to attack you with their own normal after the jab, your crouching LK’s will score a fat counter hit (ESPECIALLY if the opponent is mashing). I won’t hesitate to do this against a mashing Cammy or Sagat all day. Force them to want to psychic DP you (which creates an opening for you when you play your mindgames right and just block). The only option the opponent really has after blocking a +7 d.LP is to just keep blocking (especially if they’re a character without a good DP too), which leads to…
-close d.LP, run up d.LP again
Running Akuma can realistically do up to three of these before he’s pushed too far away and has to move on to something else. Hey, as long as the opponent is afraid of what he might be hit by next and just keeps blocking right?
-close d.LP, run up counter hit d.LP, link d.HK xx juggle
This is the same idea as the run up d.LK, d.LK xx super. If you space your jabs tightly, any non-invincible counter attack your opponent tries end up being counter hit. d.LP, d.HK is normally a one frame link. A counter hit jab make it easy.
-close d.LP, tick throw
The opponent is afraid of the +7 frame advantage you get now.
-close d.LP, run up, stop, throw
These are the options that form the basis of Akuma’s crouching jab sequences. You train the opponent to either want to hit a button so you can counter hit him or keep blocking afraid of what you might do next. Akuma has too many attack options to list definitively. Be sure to also incorporate crouching shorts, d.MK, various block patterns, and high/low games with low jump as well.
After you’ve training opponent into blocking:
-Low jump MK or HP, combo LK hurricane if hits
These two attacks hit fast. At close range like this, you would normally never be able to low jump at will without being anti-aired. Seeing as how you’ve scared the opponent into blocking with your previous d.LP sequences though…
-Empty low jump, throw
This gets a lot of people from my experience so far.
-Empty low jump, short, short xx super
Opponent either stands up trying to block the potential overhead, and gets hits low or tries to tech the potential empty low jump, throw and gets counter hit d.LK’d.
-close hadoken (RC as desired)
-run up sweep
-low jump MK, LK hurricane juggle
-anti-air DP or psychic ground DP
-demon flip throw
Getting the opponent to block so you can start offense:
-Air fireball (probably the best option)
-knockdowns, followed up with meaty attacks
-dive kick (hard to anti-air)
-Low jump HK from midrange (distance where Akuma is safe from non-tripguard and non RC anti-airs)
Practical Raging Demon setups:
ANY ground normal move can be canceled into Raging Demon regardless of whether the move is normally cancelable or not.
-stock broken, opponent knocked down, WHIFF d.HK over the opponent’s body, cancel into demon when the opponent thinks he can hit you. (sneaky :lol: )
-f+MP, canceled into demon <— For when the opponent is standing. If he’s knocked down, do the choose another move to kara-cancel. It’s sneakier that way. (see above)
-get close, break stock, demon
-teleport behind into corner, demon
-LP command roll or whiff LK hurricane, demon
-fake cross up j.MK (do j.HK instead), land, demon
Opponent walking back to escape your offense:
This is one of the best times to hit your opponent low.
-at close range, run up, short, short, super
-at mid range, run up, sweep, juggle
Opponent waking up, Akuma more than half screen away (2 stocks):
This happens a lot after a juggle with an uppercut. You’ll want to use your run a lot here.
-break stock, raging demon
-break stock, short, short, super
A powerful forced guess on a downed opponent. I run up, stop, and crouch first to get the best effect. A lot of opponent’s will either want to hold down-back on wakeup or mash on wakeup throw when they see Akuma crouching over their prone body. They don’t expect Akuma to suddenly break stock. Demon will mess up the opponent’s ground ANYTHING (ie. roll, reversal special, just plain block, etc…), while short, short, super will catch opponent’s who are scared of the Demon and try to jump away.
What happens when the opponent blocks your short kick? A great time to tick throw… lol.
Opponent waking up, stock broken already:
-whiff jab, whiff jab, demon
-whiff jab, whiff jab, uppercut
-whiff jab, whiff jab, short, short, super
Whiffing jab, jab is really good for the psychological effect of making the opponent scared of the potential super coming.
When you want to hide your intentions, try whiffing…
-some crouching shorts
-Meaty run up jab/short, kara F+MP demon
-Meaty run up jab/short, wait, short, short, super
Technically, you can cancel the F+MP on ANY frame into the demon. Even the first if you’re that much of a cheater with your programmable sticks… lol. For the rest of us, cancel the F+MP before frame 26. Otherwise the overhead hits, and your trick doesn’t work anymore :(.
Try Demon flip grabs on wakeup as well. At point blank range over a prone body, whiff a few moves to deceive, LK demon flip grab as the opponent gets up. The move comes in at such an awkward angle, is tough for an waking opponent to stop. If he instinctively blocks high, he gets grabbed. If he rolls, he gets grab. The right thing actually would be to probably just block low.
Tiger kneed air fireball stuff:
In N groove you have to be extra accurate with your input motions, as low jump will get in the way if you’re sloppy. Anyway, meaty air fireball give’s Akuma +20 when he properly tiger knees the input.
-LK hurricane, LP uppercut juggle, slight wait, tiger knee LP air fireball to end up on other side of opponent.
-Any knockdown that leaves you directly over opponent’s body, dash back, tiger knee LP air fireball
As for what to do after…
If the FB hits, try:
-d.LP, d.HP xx MK hurricane, HP uppercut (the fireball is a special move and will stand the opponent up)
If the FB is blocked:
-break stock, raging demon
-d.LP, s.HP xx something (red fireball, MK demon flips, etc…)
-d.LP, running jabs/shorts
-low jump crossup MK
-wait, throw mixups
-you guys get the idea. +20 lets you do whatever you want.
-Hurricane kicks hit faster than Akuma’s jabs. I don’t hesitate to use them at point blank range to counter my opponent’s throw attempts. Japanese love DPing throw attempts. Hurricane hits just as fast.
-If you’re ever in range, low jump meaty crossup MK is probably the safest meaty attack (and one of the best offensive options)you can do. I’ve noticed Ino literally goes for this with his Blanka and Sagat every time he gets a knockdown. Akuma can set this up by juggling with LP uppercuts then running after the falling body.
-Roll canceled hard hurricane kicks and teleports are safer reversal options than DPing all the time. Don’t be afraid to just block every now and then too.
-Empty low jump, raging demon
I double tap my LP at the very last second before I land, then finish the demon input. There’s only a three frame window to make the jumping jab not hit, so practice this one.
-In corner, late teleport behind, demon/short, short, super mix up
This is actually good. It’s just that everybody’s seen it so much, they know how to avoid being put in this situation already.
-Punish empty crossups with d.MP/d.HP lk hurricane. You’ll juggle the opponent right out of the air (ala Chun li, walk under, close s.HK juggle).
-RC MK or HK hurricane for low jump defense. Be careful as you can be hit if you don’t him the opponent out of the air first though. Best used at close, close range. Far s.HK is a 4 frame attack. 90% of the time, you’ll be stopping low jumps with this instead. What else would you do if RC’s weren’t in the game after all?
-HP uppercut has 2 frame startup and 8 frames total body invincibility. Akuma’s and Ken’s are the best dragon punches in the entire game in my opinion.
-LP uppercuts to nail ground moves. Deep HP uppercuts for anti-air.
-Deep HP uppercuts for anti-crossup. (f, df, d, db+HP motion)
-Akuma has very low stamina. Teleport and air hurricane your way out of tricky situations whenever possible.
-Repeated PPP teleport backwards to run away.