Chapter 1 Introduction to Mixups
Mixups are vital in any fighting game but for this article I will like to focus just on SF4. To me a mixup is your ability to make your opponent always choose the wrong option when he tries to defend your attacks. For example if he tries to block high then you hit low, if he blocks low then hit high, if he blocks right hit left and vice versa.
Now most people know this but sometimes it is difficult to choose a valid mixup approach to your game. My goal is just to open your eyes to mixup possibilities so you can create one that suits your character and your style of play.
The key to understanding mixups are two sided, on one side you need to understand defense and on the other side you also need to understand offence. By defece I mean how an opponent can fend off your attacks for example you opponent can do the following on defense
-Block High (Block Standing)
-Block Low (Block Crouching)
-Block Left/Right (Cross up and non-cross up)
-Throw in an attempt to tech
-Try to Counter via invincible move/armor move or faster attack
-Backdash out of trouble
-Focus absorb and attack/dash back
Now To the above options none of them is fool proof and can be beaten by the following options.
-Hit Low and Command Grab(note all crouching kick attacks are mostly low attacks if not all)
-Hit high or Command Grab(over head attacks like command normals and in the air normals)
-Hit on the opposite side they are blocking
-Let it wiff and punish, hit with an unthrowable attack or meaty attack
-Block and punish or use an attack with more invincibility
-Option select the backdash attempt
-Throw the focus attack or hit with multi-hit attacks
The thing is that Character abilities and traits makes some options more viable than others, for example Rose backdash is a more viable option than say Cody or El Fuerte or even Ryu for example, Ryu is more likely to throw out DP on wake up than say Vega, Akuma can afford to teleport more than Evil Ryu and so on and so forth.
One of the keys is to find your opponent defensive safe zone and exploit it, example if you are Sakura vs Sagat you probably have more chances of landing high low mixups on him than say vs Seth or Guile and if you are playing against Vega you can afford more high low mixups.
Now playing Ryu you probably have more luck with left right mixups than high low mixups due to invincible dp and with left right mixups you can make the attacks to wiff or stuff them.
If you are playing against Cody you have better luck with grounded mixups because of his below par reversal options and short backdash.
Now when you have figured out what options your character has to deal great damage against all the defensive options then you can now move on to how you can set up your mixups.
Next I will Cover the basics of conditioning your opponent. let me know what you think of this article by leaving a comment below. Thank you for reading.