Level 1 Focus Trap



After recently dropping Ryu and picking up Akuma I’ve been looking at ways to use his ultra 1 in frame traps, obviously you can burn 3 bars for an ex red focus and combo into it that way but its a huge amount of meter to burn. I remember seeing Daigo use a level 2 focus as a frame trap against Haitani in a set one time, he did it off a safe jump because if she backdashed (or maybe focus teched and then backdashed) the released level 2 would catch her dash and allow for a dp juggle, it also beats Makotos crouch tech and seemed like a really strong option in certain matchups. This wont work on characters with a faster cr.lk and probably no one who techs with jab. I started wondering if its possible to get a counterhit level 1 focus, I think its 21 frame start up (4 frames slower than his overhead) this should mean that no one would get hit since they can react. Online this definitely isn’t this case because of lag from what I’ve seen, and I’ve had some small success with it offline although I think Akuma’s focus isn’t as suited to it as some characters, the subtlety of the focus animation plays a part of how easy it is to react to so I think fei and some others might be able to use it better. Either way in some situations I think it has potential to be a decent option, like after ex air fireball and such online it’ll always be viable but offline and if they have fast reactions then maybe not.

I have a few vids showing it beating crouch techs, I might post some more after I’ve explored it further



that Guile could have easily Flash Kicked or done Ultra to escape. any invincible reversal would hit Akuma there. also, chars could backdash away, and the Focus Attack would have knocked them into a juggle state, making the Ultra impossible to hit.


Thanks for the reply I was worried that I wasn’t going to get any feedback :slight_smile:

Your reply is a little bit ambiguous though I have to admit. You’re right that the guile could have woke up with ultra, flash kick, backdash, focus backdash, stand tech, he could have crouch teched earlier or a couple of frames later or even done nothing at all and blocked, the point is *thats *the mixup game. If what yours saying is I should have done a demon kick dive to get the frame advantage that way, then thats fine but its still at the mercy of delayed wakeup, that said, its not like you could only do level 1 focus on someones wakeup raw, you could do it after ex fireball or a blocked air fireball in the corner or maybe off of demon flip dive if you do get enough advantage. On the other hand maybe you’re trying to say that the level 1 focus leaves no room for an OS tech or OS sweep and wont cover multiple options, thats true but unless your going to burn the 3 bars for an ex red focus then you’re not going to land the demon on a counter hit if you are using a safer method.

Providing the opponent can’t react to the level 1 in time then its not much more risky than frame trapping with any standing normal tbh. Ideally you could use this in the same way as ryu frame traps with solar plexus, risky-ish but high reward


Hey ! that’s a pretty sneaky idea !
Never thought of doing this but I’ll definitely add this to my anti wakeup throw/tech happy opponents.
@Volcanic how many players do you know that will risk a reversal against a grounded walking in opponent ? You should avoid playing them right away.
If the focus doesn’t crumple, you don’t Ultra. You could go for CH fishing or meaty pressure but the reward isn’t on the same level at all. So it’s a great mix up. If you know he’ll not back dash… because there you’re in trouble.

If you know his reactions to previous pressure is always mash dat tech / stand tech, late tech, it’s a very valuable answer though.


That isn’t a very good trap just because it needs to counter hit to do any damage. Also even if it hits normally you don’t gain any pressure because you are negative on a forward dash.


Don’t take “good option” as “go to option”.
And obviously you wont froward dash it, ever.

With a bit of brain cells work during the rounds, it’s a cool answer to some wakeup bad habbits.


Yep that’s definitely a valid concern when attempting to do this sort of trap, the reason I would still argue its useful is because of the risk-reward, its very high damage and less risky than the alternative of getting U1 off a frame trap which is to just do the demon raw on someones wake up, and less of a resource burn than the other alternative which would be to dp ex red focus and land the demon that way. Again though it sort of goes back to what I said about it being around as risky as frame trapping with a standing normal (providing they cant react to the level 1) - you need to get the crouch tech read before you go for it.

I’ve been testing it further and landed a few online, hes a vid of another but I wish the quality was better.



Cheers for your input dude :smiley:

Its interesting that you mention the forward dashing afterwards, I was playing online and did a focus level 1 on a seth which was blocked and after I backdashed I got punished by the later frames of his reversal dp. Since the backdash is -9 and the forward dash is -2, in some matchups I feel it would be less of a risk to dash forwards after the level 1 then reversal back teleport if they block. Hard to punish so potentially a safer option - I’ll try and test it further


The problem is you are so close that most people can just DP you on wake up. I don’t really see that as good against any experienced player. It relies on your opponent doing one option in a situation where they have several available to them.


Tbh I’m not really sure what you mean, it sounds to me like you’ve just described the mixup game.

Ryu players frame trap with solar plexus and if you weigh up all the options that solar plexus covers then its more or less the same level of risk as a frame trap with level 1 focus.

I don’t think you understand what I’m saying - this usage of focus isn’t its own self contained mixup. I’m frame trapping him to catch his tech - thats the mixup. I’m substituting a normal e.g cl.hp with this focus so that I get a bigger pay off if I catch the crouch tech. ‘The problem is you are so close that most people can just DP you on wake up’ - Thats the case with all frame traps that aren’t using an invincible move. The whole point of a frame trap is that your opponent is teching to avoid the throw. Why would he be teching if I weren’t ‘so close’, I can’t throw him and not be close - no character can.

I said in my first post that I suspected this might not be a valid option, especially offline but I was going to test and see what the results were and why no one uses it.

Theres a number of possible valid reasons that using a level 1 focus as a frame trap would be a bad idea, e.g: The focus is slow so they could react and not tech/ akuma doesn’t have enough health to play the frame trap or throw mixup game/ frame trapping with different buttons allows you to cover more options such as wake up throw and potentially backsdash.

If you meant that last one, as in you can’t os a tech behind the focus as you could behind cr.mp, then thats the same with frame trapping with cl.hp, fair enough maybe you could catch a stand tech with the close hp but its incredibly hard to beat a stand tech with a standing normal, pretty much everyone uses a crouching low to do that. All in all its about as risky as frame trapping with a standing normal/ solar plexus it just comes down to wether they can react to the focus


For the Guile MU i’d prefer a meaty crMp instead of lvl1 focus because its the same payoff with less danger!

Senario 1, i MEATY crMp him and he crTechs~i get a CH and continue with a combo of my choice. If you condition urself to fish crMP CH and react with a stHK b&b its the same payoff,end it with a sweep and you’ll have the same senario again!

Senario 2, i MEATY crMP him and he FKicks,i block! When he comes back to earth you punish,end it with a sweep and you’ll have the same senario all over again!But you need to time that meaty!

Senario 3 (my favourite), you walk forward to bait the crTech and then you back off of his throw range(which Guile’s sucks).if he crTechs, wiff punish him like Sweep or crMK-Exhado~DF mixups!(thats the best punish i guess/distance depended)! Just to have the momentum and pressure him. The same aplies to stTech and of course block if he reversals!

If you are facing a REAL opponent,you need a mixure of all of the above to win! According off of your reads! I use senario 3 if he mixes DWU with normal and i cannot get a clear read! If you play online, lag is an issue and if you are not comfortable with the timings, be carefull using senario 1&2 cause needs perfect timing. But if i got my reads down, i’d give him the same mix ups that Akuma’s been using for so long wth some DWU adjustments!( catches back dashes as welll)

I believe there’s a reason for people not using this frame trap and one of it is Akuma’s low health!! There are so many other things to do instead! If it works its beacause of lag and random players bad habits! Exploit them safer and better!

(I’m not a pro player,but thats my small bits of experiece so far.)


It’s about the number of scenarios that favor you versus the number of scenarios that favor your opponent. The LvL 1 focus only rewards you IF you get a counter hit. Which means you not only need your opponent to press a button, you need them to get hit out of the start up frames.

If they block, you lose all pressure because you are negative
If they get hit, you lose all pressure
If they reversal, you take damage
If they back dash, you lose all pressure or at best get minimal damage.

See what I am getting at? They have several good options to choose from while you need a very specific scenario to get damage. Against an opponent who actually knows what he is doing this trap won’t work consistently.


Lol all the Akuma players are simply saying, is that the risk vs reward benefit on this tech, is off. Thus why most of the vets are like “TF?” Yeah it works. But you have to have a great read on an opponent. Thus why it’s really risky. If you get your wins. I completely commend you on it. But that reversal DP, would be a heart break lol xD.


Ok I mentioned that the lack of options covered was a big weakness of this frame trap but I would argue its not as bad as you think, if were talking about number of scenarios covered vs damage output I’ll give you my opinion on that. I’m repeating myself but here’s an analogy anyway, tell me if you agree with me or not

Infiltration and tokido both use close st.hp into fireball as a move to frame trap/catch crouch techs with, and they either get the counter hit into huge damage or it gets blocked and they do some safe chip. But the opponent could always have done a stand tech instead of a crouch tech, and an early stand tech would have gotten the akuma thrown because you can’t os a tech inside of a standing normal in the same way as you could do say a cr.lk. And its way easier to blow up a stand tech with a crouching low normal than a close standing normal. So why would they make it needlessly hard on themselves by frame trapping with cl.hp? In fact cl.hp doesn’t beat backdash either. Thats 3 situations less favorable because they used a cl.hp.

So against some against some characters with slower backdashes, and since theres no way to easily hit confirm off a single cr.lk, surely it would be a better idea to frame trap with a cr.lk + lp (crouch tech to cover wake up throws) and then cr.lp + cr.hk (os sweep). or instead of os sweep use os st.hk.

There’s no good reason not to do this if you’re talking about number of situations covered. The likely reason they’re not doing this every time is because the max confirm off two light attacks doesn’t land them enough damage for them to risk the reversal dp or mashed out ultra or if they miss the tech and get tagged and then hit by the opponents hit confirm.

They don’t only use that trap because eventually its gets to the point where you sacrifice the number of potential options covered for a damage output that makes the frame worth while. Akuma has very low health so he either has to play incredibly safe with the mixup game or have the damage benefit be large enough to outweigh the risk.

Say if you had the life lead. No I wouldn’t endorse using this trap because its risky, but if you needed to make a comeback or the demon would kill/put them on chip then imo the risk clearly outweighs the reward.

The main problem which completely renders doing this useless is: can they react to the level 1 focus.
Thats literally the main issue, but you guys keep bringing up arbitrary statements like experienced or ‘good’ players don’t crouch tech or something. Like seriously, what are you trying to convey? That good players mix up there defensive options so frequently that you could never get a read? its not like experienced players tend to do the safest and therefore ‘best’ defensive options, which is crouch teching/stand teching/focus teching/teching with jab.

This is a valid counter to one of the safest options in the game. But only if they can’t react to the level 1 and only if you get the read


It’s not only a “lack of options” it is that it covers only one scenario out of dozens. A scenario you might not even be able to control.

Close s.HP is a button that is generally safe after canceling into a fireball and even when you are negative on block you are pushed far enough back that the following situation is not that bad for Akuma. Also unlike LvL 1 focus it doesn’t matter if it is a counter hit or just a hit, it combos into a max damage combo. You also have options out of close s.HP that leave you + on block if you really don’t want to lose the pressure.

But yes even close s.HP has its draw backs compared to c.MP. That’s why you don’t see it that often. Though I can think of way more problems with the LvL 1 focus trap.

It’s not about the number of situations, it is about the fact that even if this hits you may not get anything. There is one and only one kind of hit that will give you the damage. Every other scenario leaves you punishable or negative in the opponent’s face. That’s the issue.

Actually if I needed to make a comeback I would slow it down and play patiently till I find my opening. Work the clock.

Most top players are looking for the opponent to go nuts and try something silly when they are down on life. Hell some of them are even willing to take a throw to avoid getting counter hit.

The problem with the lvl 1 focus is that you can punish the back dash on block with several characters. Which means to avoid getting punished you need to forward dash which leaves you in the opponent’s face at -2. Hell some characters can punish it regardless of the forward or backwards dash if they have super.


Yes, but its a case of risk reward. I don’t know about dozens of options, most good players tend to do the safest defensive options, unless you’re playing someone who’s just mashing random buttons, or you’re counting every individual frame they could have teched on as a different option.

I’m not suggesting you use it ‘often’ I’m suggesting you use it very very rarely when its going to win you the round.

The only reason that it would just hit with no CH is because they stand teched, but even then its very hard to catch a stand tech without a crouching low so there’s not much chance of the cl.hp catching a stand tech. So why would the cl.hp just hit then? which ‘experienced player’ wakes up without teching or blocking? It doesn’t cover the situation where the opponent just stands there on his wakeup not blocking. Wheres as st.hp does.

The situation that cl.hp into fb does beat is focus teching, although I’m curious why you never brought that up

Its still not as bad as a situation as you’re implying it to be - who punishes a level 1 backdash? Even then that questions pretty irrelevant anyway because you can just forward dash (-2) and then back teleport, some characters have huge trouble punishing teleport and even if they os you they’re still risking a dp anyway so its only going to be a guaranteed punish in very specific matchups.

Why would it hit though, and even then its because you you messed up the read. Sometimes when top players are losing they do risky things like frame trap with raw ultra. All or nothing stuff because they need to make a comeback. I’ve seen fuudo and bonchan do it, so its not like this anywhere near as risky as that.

I don’t know what confuses me more, saying you should work the clock when you need to make a comeback, or going into a thread about about frame trapping and posting ‘but you’re so close he could have just dp’d you’

In terms of players who take the throw: frame trapping players who aren’t teching isn’t something I suggest you do.

Doing level 1 frame traps against chun li players with charged super and grapplers is also a bad idea.

Tbh I think using this method of frame trapping with Akuma is a bad idea offline, not for the reasons you’ve given but because good players can probably react to it. Online I think its viable if you don’t have 3 bars for dp exrf, but even then the situations are few and far between.


The vid against the guile was only proof of concept to show that I could land it on another player during an actual match. Obviously cr.mp would have been a far better option in that situation.

In the second vid against the seth - you can talk about optimal scenarios all you like - none of them could have converted the dp anti air into that much damage


You have a weird way of understanding things! We all say this should work on lesser opponents and should be ok to use it on them. BUT if you dont practise real tech on lesser opponents and you get your wins by BS like this,when you face a real opponent and blows you up bad,you will understand what we ALL are tring to point out!

The Seth guy chipped by exHado could have done alot of different things to avoid your frame trap…But all of us are caught by stupit things every once in a while so its ok for you to land that U1 on him or on anybody! Keep in mind good Seth’s are looking for something on their wake up to gain momentum and start their vortex again, like lets say that very bad exHADO which chipped him out. If he was a real Seth player he would have done exLegs(Seth was my 2nd for a year or so)…but he didnt! Why? IF you notice Seth’s button inputs at the very same moment you exHADO him,he is mashing U1 or exDp…but lag saved you…This shows that this guys Seth is low level and he doesnt know the character well! SO you cant say you earned the victory, but given to you by him and online lag!! Thats my honest opinion(If i am allowed to have one).

On Seth you say i cant argue? If i knew he is doing crouch techs? I’d walk up to him, LPsrk FADC into LPshaku(250stun if i remeber correct). He should be stunned or near stun and then give him a DFmix up! An other combo and then he should be stunned…this means an other combo will land. And guess what…damage is the same or more as that BS frame trap of yours!

You need to understand that AAAALLLL this is just theory! Everything and nothing is possible! Its VS the kind of opponent you face whats correct and real! Of course do as you like but if i get to give you just one advice,this will be: LEVEL UP AND DONT USE ANY SHORTCUTS!


Wow you wrote all that already ?
I was wrong on the f.dash b.dash topic. It doesn’t matter in fact. What matters is their reversal b.dash (pretty common wakeup) will get you sweept at best.
Sorry if this is already discussed, I’l read all those posts later guyz.

… still stealing this idea though…


I already said that its probably too slow offline and more suited to other characters, but it is beating real crouch techs at actual throw tech timings. Real opponents will still crouch tech. It has glaring flaws as a frame trap but most of the reasons you’re giving aren’t as damning as you believe them to be.

Was referring to the the kockdown before where I landed the demon. Not interested in the chip, If you want to talk about ways of chipping out a seth player with akuma, go make a thread about it.

I don’t recall saying you’re not allowed to argue. I said off of that one mixup its actually impossible to have gotten more damage off of crouch tech read. of course other than raw ultra.

I made a thread about converting 1 throw/tech mixup into max damage and you’re saying that you can get more damage by mixing him up twice? What? Do you go into max damage combo threads and say its not really max damage because you could done 2 combos…

What theory? You’ve completely glossed over all the ‘theory’ you’ve talked about, you’ve not gone into detail on anything. You’ve talked about frame trapping with meaty cr.mp because you can still block the wakeup flash kick. If the cr.mp’s are meaty I assume you’re threatening meaty throw or else why would he tech? From what I understand if you timed your throw to be meaty so its active on the first frame after the unthrowable two frame reversal window, then the techable window is the next seven frames once the throw connects. Reversal flash kick is active on frame 4. cr.mp has 4 frame startup. So you can only block the flash kick if they tech on the last 3 frames. You’re still risking the flash kick if they tech on 4th frame or earlier after the throw connects. If not safe because it depends when the opponents teching habits which increases the validity of other frame trap options if you know you can’t CH that particular timing without risking a reversal.