So I know this has been talked about in scattered locations, but hey I am bored on a Friday so why not.
Akuma is probably the character that has the most anti-air options out of any character in the game. He has several situational anti-air moves and two nearly all purpose anti-airs(c.HP and SRK). All of which are quite useful. Not to mention he has one of the best SRKs in the game.
So here is a list and some situations where they might be useful.
This is by far the easiest of Akuma’s anti-air arsenal. It has been dubbed “Easy mode” by more than one Akuma on these boards including myself because this move is brainlessly easy to use. This move has very good priority and also is amazing at stuffing cross ups. It can even catch people on the back side. It will stuff the majority of air attacks and can be used in most anti-air situations.
This move is prone to trading and sometimes is beat outright. Against Dudley’s elbow drop, Guys’ elbow drop, nearly any dive kick, and other high priority air moves c.HP is a liability. In some match ups it shouldn’t be used at all. It develops a false sense of security because it is so good against 90% of the air moves, but if you use only this move you will find yourself hitting a ceiling as a player. Unlike Akuma’s SRK it is also very slow start up so in situations such as someone jumping over your fireball, it will not be useful. The great vertical range is offset by the mediocre horizontal range.
By far this is the best move as far as stuffing air attacks IMO. You will be hard pressed to find many moves that beat out this beast of an anti-air attack. In the event it does trade you can often HK.Tatsu off the trade and against larger characters you can even EX.Tatsu for some reasonable damage. You can always EX.Tatsu when you trade into a corner. It is also the best anti-air if someone attempts to jump over your fireball. This move has more horizontal range than the c.HP.
Performing this move from a crouching position will beat out nearly every air move and also guarantee the full 3 hits. You need at least 2 hits to keep this from trading.
For as great as this move is, the drawbacks is that the timing is rather small compared to other anti-air moves. A botched SRK is almost always a bad situation because even the noobiest of players knows to punish the hell out of it. The move is also more difficult to use as a cross up defense compared to c.HP.
Pros: 100% Invincible. Will defeat anything and everything it touches.
Cons: Same as the HP.SRK
This move is underrated as an anti-air, but it is so so incredibly useful. This move’s has deceptively large hitboxes that can pluck many characters out of the air. This move has the most horizontal range out of the normal anti-air moves and is great for stuffing shallow jump ins. It can also beat Rufus’s dive kick cleanly if used properly. It is a much safer option than the SRK when you aren’t sure if an SRK will catch a foe. If you miss time and your foe blocks it only -1 on block which is safe against 99.9% of the characters out there. It is also my favorite way of defeating Adon’s Jaguar tooth because if he fakes you out and goes for a short tooth Adon can not punish you, but if you guess right you stuff it outright.
Learning the spacing for this move can be a little tricky, but it is well worth it. It is definitely one of the top anti-air options for Akuma.
This move is mostly useful for shallow jump ins. When the SRK can be used, f.HP tends to be a weaker and obsolete option. Yet for the few spots you can use this anti-air it is a very good one. This move usually has good priority, but there are a couple of attacks it loses to.
I bet some of you are saying “WHAT? c.MK? Loyal you are stupid!”. In reality a lone c.MK is great in very specific situations. Against moves like Bison’s devils reverse, Sagat’s Elbow, and a few other moves this turns out to be a good anti-air. It is unique in that it will give you a full combo if you land it. The reason this works is that it drops your hit boxes low enough that certain air moves will miss hitting you and your opponent will land on your leg unable to block. If you OS this into a Tatsu then you will get a full BnB combo off of an anti-air.
The timing is strict and it is really a situational anti-air. Not a good all purpose anti-air.
c.MK > U1
This is a good general purpose anti-air. Ideally you want activate the demon when your opponents knee caps are level with Akumas head. We all pretty much know that making someone “die 1000 deaths” is always a pro
Timing on this one can be a pain. If you time it too early you usually get nailed in the head for a full combo, time it too late and your opponent can escape and punish you for a full combo.
s.HK > U1
This is a slightly different flavor off of the kara demons, but it works in much the same way. This version is useful against a neutral jump happy Honda and it can also be used as a great way to set up a fireball trap. JR’s favorite demon set up is to throw a slow fireball from full screen, immediately hit s.HK, and wait to see if the opponent jumps forward. If he jumps forward it is a free demon most of the time. All the pros and cons are much the same.
Those are the ones I found most useful. I am sure you can use a few of the other moves as anti-air attacks, but frankly with this arsenal you shouldn’t need many other moves.