I don’t know if anyone even visits this forum any more, but here goes nothing
Been messing around with in the lab lately, and one thing that I’ve never been quite to level up is mounting a steady “freestyling” offense using partition setups. Some say that it’s gimmicky or just plain showboating. I think that some of that stuff is essential to effective Urien play. I think that Cruise shows off just what strong partitioning can accomplish: unexpected mixup and pressure, as well as high mobility–things that Urien isn’t known for. He’s a big threat even without meter, which is fantastic.
That said, let’s share some information on using partitions in a footsie fashion.
Partitioning Basics and Warmup
- :lk: kneedrop, dash, :lp: headbutt
One of the most basic partition setups. Not very practical, but is great practice for someone just starting out. Do it all in one go, no gaps. Holding down during the knee drop and dash is exactly how much time you need to carry the charge. Now what happens if we use a different move?
- :lp: headbutt, dash, :lp: headbutt
If you use the same timing as above, the 2nd headbutt will fail. To account for this, you have to pause and hold down for just a tiny bit longer after the dash before doing the 2nd headbutt. These are the kind of miniscule counts you have to keep track of in your head, but it becomes easier with practice and knowledge of the different setups out there.
After a Throw
- dash, :lp: headbutt
Timing’s easy: hold down upon the impact of the suplex, dash, up+punch. If they quickstand and attempt to tech throw, use a slow normal, or a low priority special, they get the headbutt. If they throw out a low, you hop over it and get the punish of your choice. If they block, it’s only -2. You can also sub out the headbutt for a :lk: kneedrop.
- dash, c.:lk: xx :lk: tackle xx aegis
This setup has a similar timing to the one above, and is particularly great when the opponent is in or close to the corner allowing you to get a free 50/50 mixup on block or a full combo leading to elbow on hit. Best of all, it starts from a low. Midscreen however, it’s better to do a meaty metallic sphere xx :hp: aegis to f.:hp: or c.:hk: mixup.
- tackle, dash backwards, tackle, dash backwards, tackle, etc.
This is a stupid but sometimes awesome setup that gives you a few good surprise hits on occasion. This one mixes buffering with partitioning: charge back, hit forward, then back + kick button, dash backwards while holding back on the 2nd input, then tackle again.
- tackle, headbutt
When you hit forward for the tackle, do down forward + kick instead, giving you ample down charge for the headbutt afterwards. Good to use on occasion against people that are slow on the draw to punish blocked tackles, but make sure you space your tackles well. Naked tackles up close are just asking for a juicy punish.
- crouch (pause), dash, c.:lk: xx :lk: tackle xx aegis
A very interesting spacing tool that leads to a guaranteed aegis mixup when used near the corner. The timing is as follows: crouch :db: with Urien, then as soon as his sitting animation finishes COMPLETELY (you should see his outstretched arm tense up into an idle pose), dash partition, then do crouching short into tackle. Play around with the timing, because it may take a while to determine whether you should be adding more charge during the crouch or after the dash. Using this same timing, you can omit the c.:lk: and go straight into a tackle, or headbutt from the :db: charge.
With a combination of j.:hk:, UOH, c.:lp: or c.:lk:, and dashes, you can string together some neat partitions. Basically try taking any two of what I mentioned and do a headbutt afterwards. Against a really defensive opponent in the corner, this is absolute hell.
Hiding Partitions Within Movement
- super jump, headbutt
Simple. A bit useless, admittedly, but it gives you an idea of how long of a charge you need to pull off an instant headbutt. Can we do this off a normal jump? Let’s see…
- jump, (filler), headbutt
Not quite. By filler, I mean 1 to 2 of anything from the headbutt shenanigans section (j.:hk:, UOH, c.:lp:, c.:lk:, or dash). So how can we do a surprise instant headbutt from a jump? A couple ways, really.
- back dash, jump, headbutt
- forward dash, jump, headbutt
- brief crouch, jump, headbutt
- jump, forward dash, headbutt
- jump, back dash, headbutt
So on. Here you get to see just how modular you can get with partitions. The great thing about partitioning (and landing) an instant headbutt is that A) a lot of people won’t expect it, B) they probably won’t ground tech in time, and C) you get a free wakeup aegis setup out of it. Even those with moderate Urien matchup experience can be fooled by it; they may be expecting that final part of the charge to come out from your c.:lk:, when in reality you already had it stored up by that back dash beforehand.
Filler normals are great for helping you time your partitions, but they aren’t the only thing that can help you out. Audio cues, such as the AE-GIS timing on the midscreen dash unblockable setup, are huge. But have you tried it out on other things?
- fireball, dash, tackle or headbutt
Shoot a :lp: or :mp: fireball. Once you hear Urien say KILL, hold :db:, dash while holding :db:, then tackle or headbutt. Play around with giving more or less charge before or after the dash until you find the timing you’re comfortable with. Good to throw out once in a while against a parry happy opponent. You might catch them leaving the air, too, for a juicy corner tackle combo.
- ROUND START, dash partition, any special cancelable normal xx any charge special
Situational but definitely nice. Start the partition right when you see the word FIGHT finish animating onto the screen, then you can go up and strong xx headbutt, c.lk tackle, whatever you fancy. This gives you an example of why it can come in handy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=5CXppmfBpkI#t=30s
- s.:hk:, headbutt
I love you, standing roundhouse. Hits twice, moves Urien’s hitbox away from most throws, and just enough timing to hide a full charge. On block, the spacing is such that a following headbutt will either beat or trade with most everything. And if you do happen to trade, chances are your airborne state will let you avert most of the damage. Just don’t abuse it too much, especially against characters with a DP or wakeup super on deck.
And hey, it doesn’t even have to be a standing roundhouse. You could whiff something like s.:mp:, UOH and have exactly enough for a headbutt afterwards.
The recurring theme here is finding the right combination normals, audio cues, and specials to hit that exact length of charge. After some practice and comfortability with the timing, you’ll find yourself with the ability to stagger the timing of certain setups (such as the Dudley/Alex/Hugo midscreen dash tackle unblockable setup) strictly based on FEEL instead of the ae-gis audio timing. Try out everything listed above and become familiar with that “sweet spot!”
- Added round start partition
- Fleshed out some details
- Added movement and fireball sections