I'm ready to step up my game, but combos confuse me

I’ve been playing SFIV for a few months and became pretty good at SFIV:AE too. I play on my PC and usually win at least 50% of online matches I play in, usually higher. I can even outsmart some extremely good players at times.

My current main is Rufus and my basics are becoming really good too. I’m good with footsies, I have a good knowledge of my character’s moves and abilities and my special moves / super / ultra inputs are near flawless. I think I now have what it takes to become a really good player, but the one thing that puts me apart from the real champs online are combos. I suck at them. I don’t even understand how they work or why some moves can combo into other moves while some don’t. I’m able to apply some truly basic combos (like jumping heavy kick + EX snake strike), but whenever I hit my opponent on the ground I just mash light punch all the time. I feel like I could hit a lot harder if I only learned a good combo, or even a better knowledge of combos to string impressive stuff (like that scary shit people pull off online that just makes you sit back and wait 'til the combo’s over).

I’m also having huge problems with EX cancel and can’t use it to save my life.

Any recommendations for someone who thinks he understands and applies nearly any aspect of the game except combos and EX cancel?

check the rufus section for rufus’ bnb combs

read the execution sticky

go practice

go watch evo

I started practicing some BnB combos for Rufus and I think the punish combo will greatly help. I’ve also started watching a few EVO Rufus matches, but most professional players seem to have given up on the big guy. Anyone have any good Rufus players videos to recommend?

Standing heavy punch to spin move should be good enough. Also any link from a low attack into a combo string for more damage wouldn’t be a bad idea.

Justin Wong’s been rocking Rufus at EVO, but he’s out.

Search out Ricky Ortiz on Youtube for some recent Rufus footage, I think.

How can you be good without combos? Are some these “extremely good players” just guys with a lot of bp/pp?

I could beat a majority of players online using only Throws, Jab chains, LK,HK > Ultra, EX Messiah and j.HK > EX Snake Strike.

Rufus’ combos aren’t very impressive in terms of power and most of his strongest moves (j.HK to EX Snake Strike does some insane damage and is extremely easy to perform) are easy to use. Just knowing which hit to use and when is enough for some people.

I don’t judge talent according to BP/PP. When I say “extremely good players” I’m talking about guys who rack up 25 consecutive victories in Endless Lobbies or some similar stuff. I’m among the only guys (in a full 8 people lobby that ran for a lot of time) who were able to win one round against him. I don’t know if that means anything, but I guess I can surprise an experienced player at times.

I’ll go watch some Ricky Ortiz. Also, can anyone explain to me how a link from a low attack into another non-low attack (like what But of Course said) works? By the time the animation is finished, the guy recovers.

Its called a link. They require very specific timing. Get practicing lol

Also rufus does a ton of damage in his combos.

Rufus does a ton of damage period.

So you just link a crouching attack with a special move? That sounds like it requires a killer timing, but I’m gonna try that. Thanks a lot for the tips!

Actually a link (by definition) is a combo (or part of one) that requires specific timing due to the lack of cancels. You can’t cancel the moves into each other, so you need to press the next attack after the first attack recovers but before your opponent does. An example of this would be Rufus’ S. LK into S.HP. This is a link and not a cancel.

An example of a cancel would be doing S.HP (with rufus) into his QCF + P. The S.HP is cancelled immediately into the QCF+P and the animation of it is cut short.