Need help with Mika

How do I get better with Mika??? I watch replays, practice BnBs in the training room. To me she’s a very difficult character to use.

I usually poke with cr. lk, cr. mk, st. mk, and lately st. mp. My main BnB is stomp chop xx M flying peach. I almost never get a real jump in, it’s always cross ups, which i mixup with the forward jump d+mp body attack. My meaty usually consists of dash f+mk to stomp chop xx M flying peach.

My CC punishes are awful, f+hp dash f+hp the second uppercut whiffs a lot, charged st. hk I usually just dash up and throw because my reaction isn’t so good.

My AA sucks, either I try ex wingless and it sometimes gets stuffed (not that often but still) or in a cross up situation cr. mp I eat the cross up.

Help! I would like to play at least at a gold rank level with her. What can I do, which combos should I be working on, whose replays should I be watching, what should be my gameplan?

Thanks in advance.

I’m no expert, but I can tell you what worked for me when I was playing Mika.

Stop using stomp chop as you bnb. Its an easy combo because its a target combo but its very punishable on block (-6) and you’re probably also leaving a lot of damage on the table by using it when you get openings. You’ll still be using stomp chop here and there (its a great, confirmable follow up to charged st.HK for instance) but you don’t want to build the habit of using it a lot.

Practice st.MP -> st. HP xx H/EX Peach as your bnb. It isn’t a particularly difficult link (especially in the context of SFV) and it nets you good damage. You can use that for punishes in a lot of situations as well (I found Mika’s CCs to be kind of awkward so I usually stuck with that combo). st.MP is also fast enough to fairly easily link from her cross up (j.LK) so you can use that combo from any jump-in situation. As you get more practice you can upgrade that combo to st.MP -> st.HP xx super for bigger damage when the opportunity arises.

Practice using st. MP as a poke. I found it awkward to use while trying to stay mobile because I would get intermittent claps instead of the regular st.MP but keep working on it. In my experience st.MP was Mika’s best poke: fast, decent range, can convert to multiple different combos on hit, and while it is negative it isn’t punishable. The hardest part is not accidentally getting claps when you don’t want them (which are unsafe enough that even Bronze players will punish you for them sometimes).

Also practice linking EX Peach from st.MP. Not cancelling, actually linking it like you would the st.HP. Its not that hard to do (st.MP is very + on hit which gives you a decent window to work with combined with the inherent system leniency with links) and its a great confirm to have in your pocket.

Learn one good, consistent V-Trigger combo and one V-Trigger set up from block. Mika’s V-Trigger is one of her best features and it is surprisingly easy to convert those two little red bars into a bunch of free damage, or at least good positioning. cr.HP is normally a dangerous move to throw around but with V-Trigger stocked it leads to either solid damage on hit or a set up into damage on block. That second part I never got good at, but I’ve seen higher level Mika players really put their opponent’s in a pinch in those situations.

cr.MP is your go to anti-air. Drill that as much as you can so it becomes habit when you see jumpers. However you also need to recognize when it isn’t going to hit and react accordingly. Because Mika shuffles forward just a little bit, it can be hard to use against close jump-ins (and is worthless against cross ups). Cross ups in general are things that you need to either grin and bear (block) or work harder to not let your opponent get into that situation. One thing that can be helpful against cross up attempts is that since you’re naturally going to go for a crouching normal against a jump in with Mika, you can use cr.HP to roll under the cross up attempt. It gets you a little bit of breathing room and avoids the situation entirely, but don’t get too predictable with it.

Watch as many Fuudo matches as you can get your hands on. He is one of the most consistent Mika players and I think his style of using the character is the way to get the most long term success.

Good luck with Mika! She’s a really fun character to use when she works. I found that the hardest part was actually getting in and getting momentum started especially when dealing with patient players and/or against characters that can control space well (relative to how well anyone controls space in SFV I guess). For that reason, you need to have really drilled your bnbs, your confirms, and your set ups so you can maximize your payoffs when you get in there.

Thanks for all the tips. I’ll work on the st. MP bnb and using st. MP in general. I just spent most of my play-time last night in training drilling the BnB combos.

I didn’t know that about linking EX peach from MP as opposed to canceling. I would always wonder how people are so good at hit-confirming with it. Maybe I’ll set guard to random and practice that.

I do watch Fuudo, he’s great

Anyway, thanks again. If you want to add anything else, feel free.

Happy to help. Though full disclosure: I’m a firmly Super Bronze player and I primarily Laura now (not for any failings on Mika’s part, just trying to figure out which of the grapplers clicks with me the best). That said, Mika is the character I have the most matches with online (played her exclusively from the start of Season 2, SFV says I have 301 matches played with her which is a little baby total) and she is by far the character that I put the most time into researching and training (my match time is limited so I spend a lot of time reading up on the game and looking at frame data). So I think the overall best thing to help you out would be for one of the more experienced and successful players to come in here and lend some wisdom. :slight_smile:

In lieu of that happening, the other things I would say are important to work on with Mika are oki pressure and frame traps. For oki I’d look at follow ups from MP/HP Peach KD (since you’ll commonly get those from combos/punishes) and Brimstone (easier because you can only quick rise or normal rise throws, so you don’t have to worry about also covering back rise).

Mika isn’t really a frame trap character, but everyone is at least a little bit of a frame trap character in SFV so its good to know a couple with her. One of her best sequences is st. LP -> st. MP. The st. MP will combo if st. LP counter hits (which lets you continue to st.HPxxPeach/EX Peach/Super) and if the st. LP is blocked there is only a 3 frame gap between that and the st. MP, so you stuff any non-invincible attack they throw out (which then leads back to st.HPxxetc).

The biggest advice I can give from my experience is to play calm and play patient. Mika has some really good tools to get in (j.LK, splash/air normal mix up, charged st. HK, good forward dash) but all of those will get blown up eventually if you rely on them too much (or are playing against an especially patient and observant opponent). You still need to feel comfortable finding your way in on the ground with her pokes (which is tricky since her best pokes are all negative), spacing, and getting an idea of what your opponent likes to do so you know how to set them up and break them down (which Mika can do very well once she gets going). Although she isn’t a big body like Zangief she requires a similar level of mental tenacity in your approach.

Come spar with me @Too__Humble on PS4.

Let’s Rumble.

Check these vidz. Good combos and set ups.

Look at it situationally and compare to what you do in those scenarios.

Let’s level up my friend. MUSCLE SPIRIT!