I’ve been playing makoto for a while now but I can’t seem to grasp her gameplan. I usually focus my entire game on getting a knockdown and going for safe jumps and meaty set ups. With delayed wakeup coming in Ultra, Im not sure this is the right approach. Can anyone tell me how they play Makoto and what their gameplan is?
I don’t think knockdown set plays is the best approach to playing Makoto at all; in my opinion, the objective is to scare your opponent. Stuff their buttons with your own, block their reversals, get them blocking by any means necessary, then squeeze their necks and escort them to the corner where they belong.
None of this can be accomplished while they’re on the ground (aside from dashing towards the corner). It also requires great reads, knowledge of both yours and your opponents buttons, and a good grasp of Makoto’s unique mobility. Yes, this is as difficult as it sounds, also. Almost more than any other character in the game, you are not playing matchups so much as playing your opponent.
Makoto’s “gameplan” is hard to describe because the best “gameplan” with her is different from match to match. Your “gameplan” is to make reads and condition your opponent. Also, Makoto is one of the most difficult characters to be successful with in an online environment, because so many players play with their brains turned off. Mind games don’t work on players without functioning synapses.
As for DWU, I don’t think it’s going to hurt her all that much. Her most potent and dangerous position is executing her guessing game on standing opponents. Knocking the opponent down gives them a moment to think about what you’re trying to do, and that’s exactly what you DON’T want.
…whew, longest post I’ve cranked out in a while.
Wow thanks for the lengthy reply, I’ll try to change my play style and see what happens
imo you want to set up positioning where her disadvantages are irrelevant and her advantages make her godlike. Push people to corner, count stun to dictate level of opponent’s panic, take as few steps back without making them up as possible. Learn to move forward with normals. EX Hayate has such a huge positional return off being able to connect off a stray st mp / cr mp / cr lk to take away your opponent’s ability to walk backwards, which in turn hugely diminishes the disadvantages of her walk speed, because all of her f+[x] normals move her forward. When too far too engage, use her above average solo meter gain tactics to force people to come to you. Make sure close up fireballs/ cr mk fireball traps / jumps / etc do not go unpunished and people will comply to you.
Make people shit their pants, or push them into the corner. A lot of people panic when Makoto slowly advances, because they know what she’s capable of.
Understanding the opponents mindset is really important in any fighting game. When you see two top players play, they are constantly whiffing st. jab / st. lk or walking in and out of each others ranges. They’re checking each other, trying to read patterns and punish their poke attempts. It’s easier for some characters than others. No one here is going to tell you exactly how to play Makoto because we all have different ideas as to how she should be played. Anyway, heres some good advice as I see it:
- Don’t ever hit a button without a reason. This applies to all characters.
- When reacting to a fireball, rarely do the same thing twice. Try to be as unpredictable as possible. Keep in mind that if you never do the same thing twice, you’re still being predictable.
- Learn the frame data. If HP Hayate is +2 what can I do out of it? You should ask yourself this question with everything. If it’s more than -3 my pressure is probably over unless I want to take a calculated risk. Sometimes frame advantage isn’t the strength of what you’re using. Sometimes it’s invulnerability frames or a really good hit box. Everything is situationally useful but some things are more useful than others (see st. MP).
- Understand that karakusa is only viable when you can convince the other player that you can win without it. Until you solidify your ground game, don’t even try it. Use normal throw which is a less risky option. If you do, you will start to understand when you can get away with a throw and when you can’t.
- Footsies are not Makoto’s strong point but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t practice them. When you’re in doubt, being able to fall back on your fundamentals is always good.
- Blocking is good. Mixup doesn’t matter if you block everything. Let them push themselves off of you to give yourself some valuable breathing room. Defense in general may seems shitty, but in all seriousness the basic defense built into the sf4 engine is more than enough to defend yourself unless its some stupid 50/50 mixup.
- Feel yourself super hard. This might be the most important thing. When you make the correct read and stun the opponent in no time at all, it’s honestly the greatest feeling in the world. You know they are more of an emotional wreck than Courtney Love and the next mixup is going to be the end. It’s beautiful.
- Train yourself to never miss an anti-air. There are no instant air dashes in this game. You can’t block in the air. You can either empty jump or do some form of an attack. Most players that you play against have no idea how to capitalize on a trajectory change, so don’t worry about it until you need to.
- Go to tournaments. The tournament itself is going to motivate you to get better but that isn’t as important as casuals. You can literally go sit down next to evo tournament winners and play against them if you want to. You’ll learn more in one match than you will playing 100 online matches.
- Be friendly. Even the people in the FGC that seem like they’re egotistical and annoying are completely approachable in person. No one wants to help the aggressive alpha male
That’s a damn fine post ^