New Competitor Strategy Help


Hey dudes. I played some of you at Evo this year and talked with some of you, so some of you partially know me. A small piece of information about myself: I have been playing CvS2 for a pretty long time. Any of the people that have played me may think otherwise, but I will explain. See, I never really had good competition to play against. I can beat the game on the hardest setting normally without even losing my 1st character and my friends I can normally beat without even doing many special moves against them. I found out that there is a huge difference between playing the computer and playing real people. I honestly thought that I had a chance against some people since I can beat the game on the hardest setting. I also found out from going there that the people at the local tournaments (back when I lived in Nebraska) were not all that good since using pretty much the same strategies I used against you guys, I would pull out wins.

I do not want this to seem like it is anything other than asking for help. I am not asking which combos to do or things like that (well, not until I work and practice on everything else), since I plan on teaching myself through hours of practice on my own time. I just simply wanted to give a small bit of background information about my play style and stuff like that.

What I am hoping to accomplish from this thread are some areas in which I can practice and really improve my game so that when Evo 2013 comes around, I will at the very least be able to stand my ground against some people who go there. I am not trying to figure out how to be the best (one step at a time for me), but based on how I play, it seems I need to return to the drawing board about my style. I am all for that and truly want to improve to be a much better player.

I know a huge problem that I have is taking to the air. That strategy worked for me for a pretty long time, but against competitors (well, real competitors), a simple anti-air move kills all of that.

I also know that move execution I need to work on (well, becoming much faster at executing I should say).

For those that did not know me by name, I was the big dude in the Mortal Kombat shirt, so I am sure many of you saw me play (I did a bunch of casual matches against a few of you).

I am all for very critical critiques in how I played against you or how you saw me play against others. Nothing is too stern for me and I will welcome it to improve myself.

My characters of choice are Ken, Kyo, Ryu, Iori, Ryo.

To be at a level where I can at least stand my ground on a competitive level, what kinds of things should I really concentrate on learning?

What kinds of things did you see me doing (if you saw me play) that made you cringe that I was doing it and what would you have done differently?

I truly want to work on this and do everything possible to improve for next year. I see me going to Evo this year as a wake-up call that I need to step my game up, and I am very ready to do everything I can in order to do that.

EDIT: Even if you did not see me fight, what would be some good things for me to look into as somebody who is looking to hold his ground against you guys? Rolls/RC’ing? Different choice of characters (maybe teach myself a top tier guy)?

Basically, for somebody who has played the game but now looking to start competing, what types of things should I really concentrate on learning?

I have already started watching competition videos of people who use the same characters as me. I found a video of Daigo when he uses a Gouki, Ken, Ryu set of characters and am watching how he plays, approaches enemies on different paths, etc.


Just a few points (I did not get to see you play).

-Your characters are fine, all are competitive at a high level except for Ryo.

-What groove do you play? Groove defines play style to a large extent. Your characters would play very differently in C-groove compared to K-groove.

-Starting out, just focus on the basics - the uses for your normals, B & B combos, AAs etc.

-As with most beginning players, during matches try not to worry so much about what you are doing and pay more attention to what the opponent is trying to do.

-Go easy on the jumps and rolls early on (with the possible exception of Iori, whose roll is harder to punish) - these are easily punished. Try instead to learn the ground game.


I currently use C groove, but would really like to learn A groove.

I got into C groove just because it is the easiest one to figure out since it has all of the classic Street Fighter stuff in it plus air block

EDIT: I should point out that I do not know what a B&B combo is


I know how you feel. I devoted my life to this game back in between '02-'06. I finally have the game running on my PC via Demul and NullDC and now I hardly touch any other fighter. The guy I used to play had quite the ego. He thought we’d be able to take EVO with our skills, but I knew that was a long shot for us. But he used to think we had what it took to win because we’d breeze though the cpu on the max difficulty. But I knew there was always more to the game. Stuff like RCs, and the fact that the cpu will never use CCs in A-Groove. Stuff that if you didn’t practice yourself, you’d have no idea what to do. I can guarantee that if we went up against an A groove team of Bison/Blanka/Sakura we’d have gotten bodied for free.

I’d take Mr. Warzard’s advice and go with C-Groove. I’ve always thought that Ryu, Ken, and Iori were better in C-Groove than they were in K-Groove.

And I couldn’t agree more with him when he says learn the ground game. It’s been awhile since I played C-Groove and I don’t remember if it has small jump.

B&Bs stands for Bread n’ Butter combos. With Iori, I believe it’s crouching jab x3 > Rekkas (qcb+P). But if they block it, you only do the first Rekka.

The most common combo I see with Ken is crouching short x2 (or 3) > hcf+short.

If you want to learn A-Groove I’d recommend learning Bison and Sakura. Paint the Fence w/ Bison and Sakura’s ShouShouShou’s are really and pretty easy to do. Though with Bison, you’ll have to learn how to carry them to the corner before you start PtF.

Ken’s CC is usually just >+Roundhouse until the gauge is almost out and you finish with a super.

On Sunday’s IPW streams KOFXIII and CvS2 for their Real Honest Sundays. I’d hit that up if you get the chance.


Awesome. My first step I am doing, well outside of watching videos and studying them, is to make my own stick. I have enough knowledge to be able to basically strip a controller and wire the buttons to arcade buttons and a stick. The way I use a pad, I just know that the way I have been using it for all these years means there is no way I can stand any ground if I continue to use it. I already ordered the 2 controllers (I found a cheap ps2 sf2 anniversary pad and a cheap mad catz pad for dc). I am going to be making a stick that will dual up and work for dc and ps2 since I have the game on dc, but it will be very cheap to get the wiring done for ps2 as well. I have not ordered the buttons or stick yet. I am going with sanwa buttons because of their twitch reaction time over happs. I have not decided on whether the stick will be one of those sticks with a ball on the top, or a Happs competition stick (I am a big fan of that stick).

Now, I am really bad with a stick, but I understand the basic moves, so it is all just a matter of practice to hit the moves properly (like I always end up accidently hitting up/forward when doing, say, a hadouken). When I use a pad, I literally turn the pad in my hand to be able to do moves when I am facing left, and they won’t do.

Yeah, I was humbled at Evo, but I am truly taking it as a learning experience. I want to correct the actions I did wrong and learn to get better from there. Me getting dominated really made me want to step up my game.

I will start tuning in to Real Honest Sundays starting this coming weekend.

I think once my stick is done, I am going to practice and get good at basically not jumping at all. I know jumping has its place, but if I can teach myself to not jump at all, I will not use it as much.

The main reason why I would normally jump so much was because I was using it as a way to get closer to my enemy, but after watching tournament videos, some of the people using the same characters I like to use literally just walk up to the other person. So I am going to work on staying on the ground and only going to the air when I am going to attack and not use it to get closer to the enemy

Also, what does CC stand for?


When it comes to the whole pad vs. stick debate, I think it really depends on the person. I played on pad all the way up until a year and half ago, I can still play on both, but prefer stick because certain things are easier. Stuff like RCs or when I play Honda in SFIV cr.Jab > Fierce Hands is way easier. Props to making your own stick. :smiley:

Back in my younger days, I just rolled all day to close. Then I learn you could be thrown out of a roll, so I started playing K-Groove to break myself of that habit.

CC = Custom Combo w/ A-Groove.


I see. Yeah, I would love to get good at A groove out of choice. I have seen what really good players can do in it, and I want to learn to be able to do that.

Making my own stick should not be too bad since I have done some arcade work before (I own my own cab) and wiring up the stick should be very easy since I am letting the boards inside of the pads do all the work, it is just a matter of me soldering the buttons in place of where the pad buttons should go


I wasn’t able to see you play either, EVO is one hellulva crazy mess when you are running a side tournie.

A good way to learn is to watch videos and see what people get hit by. When someone gets hit by a poke, or lands a super. Replay that part over and over and see if you can get into the mind of both players and really understand what happened. That helped me a lot in learning the ropes. You can always click on my Youtube link in my sig for videos, and the Real Honest Sundays are also on my page in playlist form on the bottom.

Just learn to punish basic things, if they miss an uppercut punish it with a simple combo. Nothing fancy. Sometimes don’t jump once in an entire round and work on your footsie/spacing. Learn which things Anti-Air well and just go from there.

Remember, ask yourself…why are you jumping? To hit the other guy? If its just that simple line, then you shouldn’t be jumping.

Stick with C for now, learn basics, then switch to A once you get a solid understanding of your characters. I would say stick with whatever feels comfortable for you. Some things are going to be harder of course due to your character choice.


Yeah, I seemed to notice from watching videos and people playing, that Vega and Bison player tend to gravitate towards A style. Like that one dude in the flannel jacket who was really awesome with Vega who used it.

Yeah, most of the time with jumping, I would do it to gain ground and get closer to my opponent. It would be rare that I would be jumping in to get attacks off. So I will take your advice and pretty much teach myself to play rounds at a time without jumping

My main 3 guys that I choose are Ken, Kyo and Iori and based on what you guys are saying, as of right now C style is good for those guys.

I mainly stick with Ken since I have been using him since SF2 was released on SNES (me neighbor would bring the game over and always pick Ryu, so I picked Ken to fight against him since we have a no mirror match rule when we played). After getting my own CMVS and a few KoF games, I am seeing myself gravitate more towards Kyo. I like his style. Many of his moves are easy to do for me since they are the same thing as many Capcom moves, so I can adjust to him very easily (he also has a few extra tricks up his sleeve as well). There is a chance that I will choose Kyo as my main guy of choice just because I like the character and how he works.

Some of the top tier guys that I read about, like Bison, Vega and Guile, while I know how to use them, I never really did anything with them to ever learn the characters or strategies, so all I really know with them is how to pull off some moves and that is it.

I have now set a bookmark to your pages since they will help me out a bunch.

Most of the pieces for my stick should be at my place sometime next week, so I should have my stick built by the end of next weekend, so that will help me out as well.


Learning how to play other characters can help you as well. You begin to understand what their goals are in a round, and what goes on in the head of the player in certain situations. If you understand that, you can capitalize the opponent who uses those said characters just by feeling them out It can only help you so once you understand your own characters, don’t be afraid to experiment with others!


Also, one thing that helped learn about the game was reading James Chen’s System/Combo FAQ he wrote way back in the day. It has lots of useful info about the game.


That is an awesome tip. I love the characters I use, but in learning other characters, I might start liking a few other characters even more

  1. Don’t be afraid to use top tier. People may hate you for it, but logically there is no reason not to. You have three slots for characters. You can still have a highly formidable team putting a character you like with two top tier characters. I do it! You don’t get a special prize for winning with lower characters. You don’t have a limit put on your wins if you use top tiers. In general, don’t care what people think or say about you.
  2. Don’t lose your cool. Most beginners will start to panic with 30 seconds left, if they’re behind. 30 seconds is a lot of time. Trust yourself.
  3. There are more things to be concerned with than damage. If you watch me play, there are certain things that I do that actually REDUCE damage. With Bison, when activating in the corner I will almost ALWAYS insert a fierce if I’m falling from a jumping hit, or insert a jab and a fierce if I’m activating from scissors. I do this for consistency. In certain situations, you could actually CROSS UP (switch sides) with the opponent if you start painting the fence with the opponent too high (mainly if you’re on the second player side). My Yamazaki CC isn’t the most damaging CC either, but it’s the most consistent. Depending on your initial positioning, going straight into crouching fierces could push you too far back, inserting a close standing fierce could result in a long standing fierce, etc. With Zangief against Sagat in the corner, I will very rarely end my CC with a super. This has nothing to do with consistency, but rather positioning. The super throws Sagat out of the corner and puts you in it. I like my chances against Sagat if he’s in the corner. I don’t like my chances if he has ME cornered.
    Also look at what combos take longer, what builds meter the best, etc.
  4. Know your own strengths and weaknesses. Play to your strengths. Minimize exposure of your weaknesses. I for one am not a very patient player. I am not very good at execution. Because of this, I choose more consistent options in my combos, as I stated above. I also need to use gimmicks and randomness to get my damage. I am pretty much the only A-Yamazaki and A-Zangief player in the world. People don’t know these match ups, so I have a bit of an advantage going in. They don’t have many guaranteed ways of using their meter, so I do random activations (roll-activate with Yama, drop through with Gief). I don’t care if I guess wrong. It’s a decision I made, and I deal with the consequences. I am fully prepared to pay for my mistake. Don’t be afraid to lose.
  5. Come to Japan. No, really. You’re never going to see anyone playing in the States anymore, outside of MAYBE San Francisco and at EVO. No matter how much work you put into the game, until someone puts it on GGPO, you’re never going to be able to see the fruits of your labor. You need to play against quality competition.


You mean to tell me after all these years, CvS2 still has a strong community in Japan?!


I’m more surprised that there’s a small competitive community for Ehergiz in Japan.


Can’t agree more with these two especially. People act like the only way to have fun in a game is to avoid top tier, and that’s simply not true in cvs2, where you have top tier characters with a variety of different play styles.

I think it’s easy for beginners to panic when starting in cvs2 and start mashing due to the speed of the game and how good rushdown can be. It’s important to not lose your cool in these situations, and often the best thing to do is just block.


I would love to see this game on GGPO (still my favourite fighter ever) or Capcom put it on XBLA and PSN

I give you props for holding down Ryo, I know he is bottom tier but I love busting out him and at times Dan Hibiki


Another thing about using top tier: Make sure you learn the character. Start small with basic BnBs to get a handle on things, and don’t expect to start winning like crazy because you are using one of the best characters in the game. And like Warzard said, find one that fits your play style best. In fact, try them all, because you might stumble onto a particular style of character that you didn’t know you liked, like how I found out that I liked grapplers by playing as T.Hawk in SSFIV.

I have yet to play the gem that is CvS2, but the tips I gave can apply to any fighting game. Good luck in leveling up your game! :smiley: