Longtime gamer looking to get serious in Fighters

Hi all,

As the title says, I’ve been a longtime gamer, going on nearly 20+ years now with a controller in my hands, and one genre I’ve always loved having around with friends over and the like has been fighters. Unfortunately, and I know that some of you may know the case as it goes sometimes, when you’re the only one of your usual play-group that has any fighting games in their collection, you can just learn some special move inputs and what they do, and you’re pretty much golden against people who never play. It’s a bit of a scrub-trap, and I fell pretty hard into it.

I’m on PS3, and still play using a DualShock 3, since I recently decided to go this route and haven’t really had time to push for a proper fight-stick.

I’m using Street Fighter x Tekken as my game to really jump into things with, though I’ve also got Super Street Fighter 4 Arcade Edition, BlazBlue: Continuum Shift Extend, Mortal Kombat 9, Persona 4 Arena, Tekken 6, and SoulCalibur V on the shelf.

Currently, my team is Juri on point, with Bryan in the anchor role. Aside from the way I can custom palette the pair of them, using Juri’s primary costume and Bryan’s alternate, into a Harley Quinn and Joker facsimile pair (which, admittedly, tickles my nerd-fancy and makes me want to push them as a team to learn), I like Juri as a very quick and nimble way to get in and apply pressure, with Bryan as a bit bulkier reliever who still hits like a truck and keeps the damage output high without much meter (though this may be me scrubbing a bit and not using meter where I should with him), so Juri can recover health. It tends to let me run my meter high, and end things with a Cross Assault or Cross Rush.

I tend to find myself learning a few very simple combos, mostly with Juri at the moment (such as Mid Pinwheel > Crouch LK > Light Pinwheel), since she’s on point, but if I get blown up early or Alpha Countered, I tend to panic and revert to scrubbing out with a rapid succession of light pinwheels to both force my opponent to the corner and, if they’re not quick enough, get the hit in on wake-up to keep them from doing anything. I know that this method is anything but safe, and it can and will be punished by better players, whether it’s by a wake-up Dragon Punch or otherwise, and I end up losing those matches hard. I’m trying to break these habits, learn my characters, and be able to focus on not only what I’m doing, but being able to anticipate my opponents as well so that I can position myself a bit better moving forward.

Any help/suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

I’m not really sure what you want help with. You recognize some of your bad habits already, so you’re already on a good track.

Just as general advice keep hitting training mode, know how to optimize your combos, read everything in your character’s subforums here, play online but don’t take it too seriously, play locally as much as you can, and make it out to tournaments whenever you can.

Is there anything you want help with more specifically?

From what I read on the character subforum threads, I’ve picked up a couple single character combos for my duo, but noticed that Bryan is considered a “bottom 4” character after the 2013 changes were brought in, and I’m having issues finding things for a Juri/Bryan team, as far as safe tag combos and the like. I’m working on experimenting with figuring out how to properly tag combo between the pair, but with the simplicity of the combos I’m using at the moment, I’m having some issues getting things done there.

I think that getting some Juri and Bryan “staples,” as far as solo and into-switch combos that I should be working on practicing regularly along with other variant experimentation, would be fantastic.

Admittedly, while I’m following the majority of what’s going on in the threads, I get lost when things get overly technical for specific frames. Seems like the frame data, though, is something that I should really focus on later, rather than with immediacy, however, as I just get into learning the characters a bit better, and what to do in certain situations (against projectiles, anti-air, etc.). Knowing that certain things get punished by Dragon Punches or the like is nice, but I’d have to say that I’m quite a bit away from being able to actually make use of the information in the split-second nature of actually being in a match.

Still not sure what you’re really asking.

Are you asking if your team is viable or if you’re doing the right combos?

You’re right about not really needing to know all of frame data and mechanic specifics at this point in time. It’s a tool that helps people break the game and characters down faster but you don’t NEED to be super technical when you first start. In fact most of it is just stuff you learn over time e.g. When you block a DP it’s pretty obvious that you can get a big punish off of it. Over time you’ll learn how to punish less obvious things. My best advice for learning things like that is play play play, it takes a lot of time.

A little of both.

When I asked about combo “staples” for each, I know that there are certain solo combos I can work on for each character, but was wondering if there were any combo-starters with either character that I should work on, where the combos, at least on their end, in a tagout to their partner, so the partner can possibly pick things up. (Basically, looking for potential combo starters that would work with Juri x anyone or Bryan x anyone, since the Juri/Bryan combo seems sparce.)

There should be something in the character subforums about each characters post tag combos, and tag combos usually are just ABC chains.

Alright. I’ll do a bit better searching there to try and find those, so I can pull them in front of me while I drop into my next session of training. I’m alternating between running Training mode to work on combos, timing, and the like, and Arcade mode on Hard (not Hardest, because I don’t feel quite ready there yet) to get the hang of pulling them off against foes who are actually doing things to fight back; I have probably a couple hours a day I can sink into it at the moment.

I’m still having some slight woes with using tags that aren’t out of Juri’s Med Pinwheel or Bryan’s Snake Pit, save for the launcher switch, but I’m pretty sure that goes into the need for more and more practice to work on input and timing.

Though SFxT is new, there are some Tutorials. I am working on compiling them, but there hasn’t been much time elapsed since the Update. (If anyone has post-update tutorial links please post them in the following link, thanks)

I compiled these links for various games. The VesperArcade SSFIV tutorials are phenomenal. You may also want to read Playing to Win by Sirlin ( www.sirlin.net/ptw/ ).
The others above have given sound advice, and the only thing I can add is to stay hungry, keep asking questions and do NOT be concerned with wins and losses in terms of greatness for now.
Watch your matches and take notes on what you did wrong in a match you lost, and what you did well in a match you won, and Vice versa.
Though I have yet to utilize it, the online training mode COULD be helpful, obviously taking lag, etc. into account. Also, the combo editor can really be a great training tool, if you are having trouble with certain characters.
These are just brainstorms, I am far from an expert.
Sticks are going for $100 new right now in the MadCatz store. The SFxT PRO models might be to your liking.

You really can’t stop someone from alpha countering you if they know what you’re going to do. Just realize that they burned the meter as a statement that your pressure was good enough to spend a bar to get out of. Or throw them or bait their input.

Frame data is useful but it’s a tool. Learning your own frame data is useful and a good place to start. You should know stuff like what your fastest normal is, what your best pokes with each character are, what your best anti-airs are, what your reversal options are, etcetera.

You don’t *need *to have team-specific combos. There should be a launcher combo for each character. These work regardless of who you tagged from. That combo should work off of a tag if you do the tag off the right move. For example, with Raven, it’s easiest to combo off a tag with cr.hp because it floats them high enough for me to have plenty of time to run in with my partner (Dudley) and do a full juggle.

Uppercuts are not safe at all, usually even if they tag cancel. Block them.

Juri’s lk pinwheel is apparently down frames on block (-2). An opponent can interrupt you with a combo if you do a move after a lk pinwheel.

Mmk, so it’s been a couple days, and while I “lost” the majority of those days unable to game (life happens), I did get a bit of time to take some things into account and work on my game a bit.

@Specterlight: Thank you for the heads up on the MadCatz sale on fightsticks; I picked up one of the SFxT Pro models, it should be here in a week or so. Also, thanks for linking “Playing to Win.” I’ve read it before, when I was doing a bunch of Magic: the Gathering stuff, but having fresh eyes going into it again for fighters is always a plus. (Bonus props for the Deltron 3030 in your user title.)

@Kikuichimonji: Thanks for noting both that the Alpha Countering means I’m doing my job correctly and that if I spam Juri’s LK Pinwheel, I’m going to get lit up by a combo. Very good things to know, and that in the back of my mind should help me stop panic-spamming.

And as for the launcher combos, that’s what I’m working on at the moment. I’m trying to figure out what I can reliably land after I bump the launcher, so I can keep a combo string going. I’ve been able to get into Bryan’s One Two [High/Low] Kick combo out of Juri’s launch, but it’s a bit rougher time thus far in jumping back to Juri. My most reliable thus far, though this is likely due to not being as experienced as would be beneficial yet, is just jumping into a Mid or Fierce Pinwheel. I haven’t tried to tag-launch into her Super yet, but with how low it starts up, I am wondering if I can make it happen. Just a few thoughts there for the night; should be fun to learn to love the new fightstick when it gets here, and get my timing up with that instead of the D-pad I’m using now.

You are MOST welcome for the heads up and links. MTG is good stuff. Strangely, today I’m on the bus and a guy gets on with a Hiero hoodie on. This is East Coast, MD mind you. I was stoked. Deltron 3030 is an incredible album. If you haven’t, check out Definitive Jux. :wink:

For tag combos for Bryan I believe the best one is cl.mp, cl.mp, cr.hp xx Mach Breaker. Good damage, great corner carry and you can safely tag out Bryan assuming you weren’t close to the corner (if you were close you can just tag cancel the mach breaker and it’ll be a safe tag) If you’re having trouble getting the 2nd mp you can just go cl.mp, hp xx mach breaker or LK Flying Knee for the damage. Usually the LK Flying Knee won’t reach after the double MP into HP and the other flying knee versions let the opponent get up faster than they would from a Mach Breaker.

For Bryan into Juri combos you should learn boost followups and Snake Pit/anti air LP Fisherman followups, boost combos being most important since you should be going into boost often as Bryan since a tag combo will do more damage off a jab than his other options.

For the actual followup from Juri, [c.HP xx jump, j.HP, cl.HP xx LK Senpusha] seems to be the best followup. (grabbed from Street Fighter x Tekken v2013 Combo Tier Lists! )

It seems like you know the direction to start going, so just start playing with a new mindset of continual improvement fixing little examples at a time.

If you opponent does a DP and misses, and you settle for a sub par combo. Look up a better one and do it 100 times.

If you are getting blown up by a certain attack or character, check in their character forums and even play them in a secondary team. Once that matchup doesn’t seem so bad, start over with the next worst.

Watch video of yourself playing (which can be easy or difficult depending on your location) and identify predictable patterns or mistakes. Its amazing what you can’t see in the first person during a match.

If you’re serious about getting stronger. Play better characters, at least for now. It’s not just about EZ mode wins, these are the characters that define the metagame and you need to understand the top characters as well as possible. Once you’re awesome, playing low tiers is doable or even advantageous if its a really rare matchup.

Dont settle for beating on your friends. Dont take pride in it. Share your info with them. If you can get them interested in leveling up you will gain valuable knowledge on their favorite characters. Not to mention that everyone has a valuable point of view if you empower them to understand the game. never take pride in beating a weak opponent it will just slow you down.

make a que of points like this and work on them gradually, the list may seem endless (well it is) but after two or three specific points you will feel leveled up and its quite addicting.

Good Luck!

Mmkay, so, definitely got some good points to think on there.

Update on my stick: it’s been shipped, and it’ll be here Thursday. I’m likely going to give myself a couple days rest and wait for the stick to get here before working some more. I did, though, have a question regarding the stick:

Of the 8 buttons, what would be the best config for the two right-most ones?

[LP] [MP] [HP] [??a]
[LK] [MK] [HK] [??b]

I’m thinking of possibly adopting a setup where [??a] is either LMHK or LMHP, depending on the team’s supers (With Juri and Bryan, I can get away with it being LMHK, since that’s what both their supers require), and [??b] is a dedicated button to MP+MK for tags and the like. Is this a feasible layout, or should I just leave them at what may be the default of [??a] being LMHP and [??b] being LMHK?

That’s a pretty common button mapping style. It works great for most people. The last two buttons are normally off entirely for the majority of people but the rest either have them set to the all attacks function, or they make them into shortcuts for grabbing and switching though that may fuck you over in the long run. So I’d say either shut off the last two or use them for all attacks if you find that you need to