Old Vega Matchup Thread



The old thread is tainted. I propose that all serious Vega players post here instead. As such, all strategies and match up info should go here. If you have a question, please do your best to refer to the entire thread before asking. Thank you.

Vega’s Match Ups:


Sim has good tools to keep you away, but has few options to stop an opposing rushdown. Meaty cr.forward on Sim’s wake up is a very good tool since Sim doesn’t really have a wake up answer for anything meaty (outside of his teleport). Dhalsim can teleport on reaction to walldive attacks and your super. So, with this understanding, EX plays a vital role in the outcome of this match.

Even though Vega is primarily a “hit and run” or “semi-rush” character, you really want to be in Sim’s face throughout the match. Allowing a good Sim player to build a comfortable distance can be somewhat dangerous because of Sim’s fireball into teleport mixup game. If you’re not familiar with what this is, please consult the Dhalsim thread. In short, Dhalsim can spit a yoga fireball and teleport behind his opponents for a mixup (usually following a knockdown). If you find yourself caught in this mixup, your safest option is to just block high. There are several gimmicks to escape said mixup, but they’re all fairly risky:

  • jump throw (which will catch Sim if you can reach him before the fireball hits you)
  • PPP or KKK backflip (which will avoid the mixup, but can be punished on recovery)
  • EX flipkick (which might be perfectly safe, but I’m not sure if it will come out in the opposite direction if you charge for it and are crossed up).

On that note, jumping throw is a good option to use against teleport happy Sim players. Sim is in the air FOREVER. This is where Vega becomes a huge threat. Unless Sim jumps and teleports, Vega gets a free strong sky high claw. This move is abuse-able, but keep in mind that if Dhalsim teleports, you’re eating a j. fierce or worse. The good part about this is that EVERY time Sim jumps, you put him at a 50/50 (especially if you have an ultra stocked). What this means, is that you can condition Sim to jump less, which allows you more opportunities to jump in and close distance. Never, EVER, wiff a wall jump for mix-up or meter building purposes. Any time you wiff, Sim gets a free standing fierce. FREE! If you wall jump, you’re better off attacking.

Overall Matchup: 6:4 in Vega’s favor.
Best Normal: df. rh


This match up is pretty much a polar opposite to Sim; you almost never want to be close to Gief. If he manages to close distance, your safest option is to backdash (flipping is NOT safe). If Gief corners you, you’re in trouble. With his arsenal of 50/50 setups, Gief can really hurt you if you’re cornered. There’s no way to jump out, since his lariat will always catch you. Your options are to backdash (which suffers the risk of being baited and punished), to RH or EX Scarlet Terror (which suffer the same risk), or (which I think is the safest option) cr. jab xx ex walldive to the other side. It’s safest to backdash after you take a second to block because most players will follow through with their block strings once started. So, you avoid whichever normal or throw or special that Gief decides to end his block string with. The only downside to this is that SPDs will almost always catch you if you decide to block on wakeup. So it’s a huge 50/50 game in the corner, but if you play a runaway Vega, you’re almost never caught in this type of situation.

The key to keeping Gief away is to abuse your walldives and pokes. Although, you shouldn’t really attempt an Izuna Drop or Barcelona Attack because the lariat will ALWAYS stuff your attempts if it’s input properly. Walldives are strictly for building meter and escaping if you’re being pushed towards the corner. Gief doesn’t really have a safe way to close distance on Vega. If you’re sitting with a charge, there’s little Gief can do. Reasons being:

-Blocked green hands can be punished by several things (throws, cr. strong xx EX walldive, cr. short into rh Scarlet Terror)
-Giefs jumps risk being AA’d by Scarlet Terror.
-I forgot which normal it is, but Gief’s rh? normal (the one that moves him forward) can be punished with RH or EX Scarlet Terror or cr. jab into whatever.

So, basically, this matchup is supposed to be played similarly to most of Vega’s other matchups (where Vega gets the life lead and has you chase him). And with Vega’s many keep-away tools, you can easily frustrate Gief players into blunders.

Also, focusing right outside his SPD range is VERY useful.

Overall Matchup: 5:5 (Gief can really hurt you, but he has to catch you first :wink:)
Best Normal: st. rh

Chun Li

Chun is a rush down monster. Her cr. jab is 3 frames! :looney: The run away game is in full effect in this match. Walldiving can be nullified with EX SBKs and wiffing walldives is dangerous because Chun can ultra on your recovery (so if you walldive by accident or through a blocked string, and she has ultra, your best option is to try for the Barcelona or Izuna and hope you don’t get EX SBKd. But even if you do, it’s better than eating the ultra.) You’re main objective is to out-zone her with cr. str and st. rh. Also, FA’s are VERY good against Chun. If you stand outside of her st. strong range, she has no plausible option to break armor. And since Vega’s FA reaches so far, you can abuse FA’s on her without worrying about getting in too close.

Be cautious of jumping, as Chun seems to be the only character who out prioritizes Vega air-to-air. Also, EX Scarlet Terror is good for hitting Chun players who try to dash behind kikoukens.

Overall Matchup: 5:5
Best Normal: cr. str


I lumped these two together because, outside of Ken’s kara throw, the match up is pretty much played the same.

Having an ultra stocked is always good against shotos, because it keeps them from spamming fireballs and jumping from a distance. An easy way to build ultra meter is to absorb 1-2 fireballs at intervals, but only if your life is above 65-70%. Anything below that margin is dangerous, or should only be done if your opponent’s life is less than or equal to yours. Walldiving actually works in this match. Shoryus will usually wiff you if you steer correctly, and wiffing walldives doesn’t seem to get auto-punished by any specific setup.

Shotos are notorious in this game for fast 50/50 setups (especially Ken). This means that the bulk of your game is going to be spent on defense. Rushing against a shoto has it’s merits, but it’s definitely risky. Vega’s tools allow him to rush you for an optimal 20-25% life (varying slightly between characters), but shotos carry tools that allow them 50-75% optimal rushes. Vega’s rush down options also lack heavily in the places where shotos shine. One fuck up during a rush, which is more likely to happen to Vega than Ken/Ryu, and you’re in huge trouble. The idea behind this match, and the reason why rushing should be done sparsely, is that you don’t really want to go toe-to-toe with a shoto. You basically want to dance outside of his cr. forward range and counter poke him.

Overall Matchup (Ken): 4:6 (damn kara)
Overall Matchup (Ryu): 5:5
Best Normal: cr. str

**Honda **

Honda is a tough matchup. His EX headbutt can punish wiffed walldives and blocked Barcelona Attacks (also punishable by his ultra). His headbutt is also good as an AA, which makes jumping on him fairly difficult.

Your strategy here is to break his charges by forcing him to move around. You should have the poke game on lock, and if he risks a regular headbutt to punish your pokes, you can ex walldive or sweep him on his recovery.

Overall Matchup: 5:5
Best Normal: st. rh


Oh, Blanka… This is hands down, Vega’s worst matchup.

First off, forget you have a walldive. Any version of the walldive, **ANY VERSION **(outside of a combo) can be punished by Blanka. So, I repeat, **DO NOT WALLDIVE!!! **

That being said, your strategy is going to heavily revolve around your ground game. Now, the most pressing problem with Blanka is that it’s very difficult to see, and thus break, his charge. The “Blanka Hop” makes Blanka unique from every other charge character, in that Blanka is the only character who can hold a charge and remain mobile.

Viscant had some very useful tips towards this matchup:

Overall Matchup: 7:3
Best Normal: cr. str


Sonic Boom, Sonic Boom, Sonic Boom. You know it’s coming, now you just have to find ways around it. Here’s another one of those matches that, I feel, stands as a complete opposite to an aforementioned matchup (Blanka). In this match, walldiving is a good friend of yours; not some scornful bitch that fucks you up every time you go back to it (see walldiving vs Blanka). Anyways, walldiving can be pretty rewarding in this match, but only if you fully understand the mechanics of steering walldives.

As you might have seen, Guile players tend to use the jab sonic boom as a means to close distance; kinda the same way Chun players like to hide behind kikoukens. If you start to see this pattern, there are a couple things you can do:

  • Now, this is depending on where they are in relationship to their projectile, but I’ve been successful at just tapping an FA to absorb the fireball and releasing immediately after the absorbtion. Of course, you can be punished for this, but like I said eariler, it really depends on how far behind their fireball they are.
  • EX Scarlett Terror. I like this option, because it hits a good distance outwards, will go through any projectile, and stuffs practically all pokes that Guile/Chun players use as follow ups to their fireball.
  • Jump in. Since Guile is walking around, he’s not charging, so you’re safe from the flash kick. Also, Guile’s cr. fierce is dangerous, but it’s not invincible. Learn to throw out your j. rh faster to stuff his cr. fierce AA.

In short, you want to play the mid-range game with Guile, with a fair mix of walldives. Cr. strong beats the majority of Guile’s pokes pretty clean.

Overall Matchup: 5:5
Best Normal: cr. str


M.Bison is a monster on the ground. His short scissor kick is like, un-fuck-wit-able. Not only will it stuff all your normals, but you can’t punish the recovery. :sad: So, basically, there are two ways of getting in on Bison:

  • Jump ins. Bison doesn’t really have a practical response to jump ins (and by practical, I mean moves outside of his ultra and telepathic EX stomps.
  • Learn to break his charge. If Bison isn’t charging, he isn’t scissor kicking you. Your normals will usually out prioritize Bison’s, but only if they aren’t getting punished by his scissor kick.

Wall diving is iffy for me right now. I’ve had success with it before, but only because I don’t think most Bison players realize that he can teleport to avoid attacks, and he may even be able to punish after the teleport.

This is actually a horrible matchup; second only to Blanka.


According to Arlieth, you might be able to punish the lk. scissor kick on it’s recovery with a well timed kara throw. The deepth in which the scissor kick can be before it isn’t punishable has yet to be determined. Stay tuned for more updates.

Overall Matchup: 7:3
Best Normal: st. rh


Sagat is a damned power-house, plain and simple. He takes damage well, and deals it back out by the truckloads. This match is somewhat similar to Gief, except for the fact that Sagat is way more agile and has a projectile, plus he has a bnb that can do about 40% (if you lose your precious mask). Suffice it to say, he’s a problem character.

The most effective way to play this match is to revert to the “drive-by clawing” strategy; meaning, poke, run, poke, run (not much of a surprise, eh?). Anyways, Sagat is dangerous when he’s in your face. You hardly ever want to rush him because one mashed tiger uppercut through your blocked string, and the match sways drastically. You don’t ever want Sagat to build momentum. His regular combo’s do hella damage to you, and your very likely to lose your claw and/or mask from blocking all of his tiger shots.

Fortunately, there are ways of staving this beast. For some odd reason (probably because of how tall Sagat is and hit box properties on larger characters) Scarlett Terror works incredibly well on Sagat. That being said, if you hold a position right outside of his lk. tiger knee, you can out poke him and keep him from jumping in. This, along with a few well placed wall dive/sky high claw gimmicks, will help you in combating Sagat’s stupid damage. Basically, this match is going to take an enormous amount of patience on your part. It’s gonna take a good number of hits to fell this monster, but he can down you in like, 6. :sad: Patience.

Overall Matchup: 4:6 (Sagat)
Best Normal: st. rh


This mirror match is pretty looney. I’d say the advantage goes to whoever has the most knowledge about this match.

First off, don’t walldive. It’s pretty pointless since Vega can 3k to avoid your attack AND punish you on the recovery. Also, if you’re wiffing walldives for meter, you can be punished by an EX walldive. So, generally, Vega is going to be in a db (crouching) state for a good part of the match. Also, if he’s crouching, EX Sky High Claws will ALWAYS wiff.

So, the objective in this match, like most other matches, is to get a life lead and sit on it. You have to get your opponent to come to you, and with a Vega v Vega match, getting in without risk is very difficult. Lots of players like to df rh in this match, to close space and add to mixup. What they fail to realize is that, although df rh is a great move, a focus happy Vega (which isn’t rare to find, and isn’t bad for this matchup) will own you.

In closing, this match is pretty silly. Just get the first hit, and wait for your opponent to do something stupid (walldive).

Overall Matchup: 5:5
Best Normal: cr. str


Balrog can be an extremely difficult match, depending on your Balrog knowledge. No matter what anyone tells you, it’s very, VERY important play this match by the book (utilizing your Vega v Balrog know-how).

Ideally, you want to be right outside of his cr. rh range, and holding db. You want to be in this position because you can Scarlet Terror his dash punches on reaction. In this sense, there’s no plausible way for Balrog to close distance without taking a risk. If he tries to simply walk in, you can push him away with cr. str or st. rh (both having a 4 frame startup). St. rh is very good because it stuffs dash punches, and all EX dash punches (hits twice) except for his low dash (Balrog will duck the second hit of the st. rh). If you do decide to poke with st. rh, make sure to immediately return the stick to the db direction after you tap rh; this will help you maintain your charge.

If you want to jump in “safely” on Balrog, you have to break his down, or down back charge. Breaking this charge will prevent him from headbutting you as an AA, and without his headbutt, your j.fierce should be very safe. So, you basically only want to jump at Balrog whenever you see him stand. You shouldn’t really have an issue of air-to-air game, since Balrog players hardly jump. Knowing when to jump-in is going to be the real advantage Vega has in this match, since ground game favors Balrog.

Your only plausible way to land an Ultra in this match, is off of a crumple stun.

Overall Matchup: 4:6 (Balrog)
Best Normal: st. rh

El Fuerte

Fuerte can air-throw you out of the EX Sky High Claw.

This is probably your best matchup. Kx3 will avoid most all of Fuerte’s mixup options, and you usually have time to punish after dodging his splash game.

If Fuerte has an ultra stocked, I’d be cautious of jumping and walldiving. I’ve never had it happen to me personally, but I don’t see any reason why Fuerte couldn’t ultra your walldive or super options. I’m not saying it’s plausible, but it’s perfectly possible, and therefore a risk. Once he builds his ultra, I’d stick to ground game (where Vega excels immensely in this match) df. rh and st. rh own Fuerte’s running shennanigans.

Overall Matchup: 7:3 (Vega)
Best Normal: st. rh


So, that does it for the top half of the roster. I’ll get to the rest later. Sorry for the more… umm… terse sections, but I’m still working on my understanding of them. Will update in time.

P.S. Critiques, corrections, and additions are not only warranted, they’re wanted. So, please, share your thoughts as they come. :lovin:


El Fuerte

  1. His stupid body splash mix up on your wake up is pretty much useless here since Vega is not forced to attempt to focus absorb it, since he can dodge.

  2. From my experience, El Fuerte has a decent air to air game, but Izuna Drop should not be too hard to land on him. EX Sky High Claw is a good AA since I’ve never seen him stuff it before. Air throws are highly recommended here, since Fuerte can do it too.

  3. Empty jumping is not recommended because of his EX AA whirlwind grab. I usually use FP to try warding him off.

I play this match conservatively, because I find it easier to punish his attacks rather than trying to apply pressure on him. :df::hk: is what I use to punish his air game, as well as regular standing roundhouse. So far I haven’t noticed a situation in which I was vulnerable to eating an Ultra, aside from maybe recovery from a rolling attack. Will be testing this more on Saturday since CTF is building up quite a Fuerte team.

EDIT: I don’t recommend Scarlet Terror much here, shown in Bebop’s video vs. Dentron, his body splash beats it clean.


Good info. I want to add some things about what you said:

  • Ron (aka Ronstoppable) beat my EX Sky High Claw with Fuerte’s air throw. :wow:
  • df rh, and st. rh, are really good at punishing his running game.


Nice thread. I just started out with Vega so I’ll be keeping this ish in mind. In my experience at least, versus Guile, Vega’s jumping fierce rapes his low fierce.


Added some Bison info.


Amazing stuff. I’m looking forward to your next update.


Vega can sometimes get away with bullshit punishes against blocked Dictator Kicks with kara-throw.


This week I’m going to try compiling a character specific list of who Vega can achieve late crossovers with Barcelona on.

EX: Walldive, make the first frames look like you just did one for the sake of building meter, at the last moment ram your stick towards them and manage a crossover claw attack.

Obviously this is going to be easier on shorter characters, just have to figure out how short.


Doing hard-angle Barcelona Attacks (Dead Angle?) is sometimes the only way to hit opponents who have solid anti-airs like Akuma and Guile’s Fierce punches (well, c.Fierce for Guile). Hmm, I needs screenshots and stuffs to draw arrows.


Added some Sagat bidness, and appended stuff on Bison and Fuerte


I guess i should post a few things on Akuma since i fight him alot.

1.Mp roll is a good way to punish Akuma’s air hadokens(it should end as soon as he lands).

2.HK suffs out i would say most of Akumas attacks options.

3.Px3 should dodge most of(if not all)of Akuma’s Super.

4.Remeber to air trow most of akuma’s jump in’s.

In short Match up wise Claw favor hands down.

Akuma really can’t Rush Claw without hurting him slef alot more With leave’s Akuma players looking to get dmg with Hadokens with still in Claws favor,all the Claw player has to good is get a good poke in a wiat akuma out.

Also vs Dictator couldn’t Claw just KX3 Dictators Lk scissor then trow?If so couldn’t you do it in the middle of there block string?

EDIT: Thought Px3 was the shorter one.


Good Akuma info.

Px3 isn’t as good as advertised. Out here (socal) it almost always gets punished. People are finding ways around Vega’s flip options. If you do flip, I would suggest using Kx3 more often, since it ends earlier and leaves you less vunerable.


Also, if you see Zangief wiff a lariat, and he’s in df. rh range… BLAM! Free df. rh! :looney:


Best option during knock down when Zangief is doing a lariat on top of you would be…?

I was thinking cr.MK EX Barcelona but are there better options?


Couple of walldive things.
I was playing and Guile was constantly air-throwing me out of my wall dives even if I did the FBA early. wierd.

Walldiving also seems pretty useless against Boxer as his headbutt will beat you clean.


If the lariat is already out on your wakeup, you should get a free EX or rh Scarlet Terror. If he does it when you get up, make sure to block the initial hit(s), then i’m pretty sure cr. short xx EX walldive is the go-to option (Nisepachi options this a lot).

Yea, walldiving has huge risks. The key to avoiding the air throw (which owns walldives btw) is to treat your walldives like regular jumps. If your opponent is anticipating a jump, his chances of getting an air throw off are higher; same as the walljump.

There are ways to punish Balrog for spamming his headbutt to get out of your walldive mixups. I’ll go into further detail later, but let’s just say that wall diving on Balrog is 50/50. It really all depends on how you steer Vega.


There simply isn’t enough Nisepachi on youtube really, less than 2 full pages worth. Are there any other good Japanese Vega players worth keeping an eye on?


I’m not having luck against akuma players at all.

I’m starting to think Vega is only good as a reactionary character. His pressure game is garbage unless he has a life lead.

Shotos vs Vega for example is a pretty good matchup for vega imo…If they like to attack I can react or counter everything they do. However, if they decide play patiently, vega has like absolutely no pressure game.

There is no guard meter like CvS 2 and his normal jump straight up sucks (neutral jump mk is decent I suppose). He does too little damage when he’s trying to attack.

How do you feel about this Bebop? I’m surprised you haven’t switched characters. I’ve done better with rufus in almost every matchup than I have with Vega and I’ve played Vega at least 4 times as much as I’ve played rufus. Guile is not that bad either. I know you’ve entered the AI tournaments but what’s going on here. I’m just basing my stuff off casual play but I play 100% serious all the time and by no means an average player.


Vega isn’t supposed to be played as a rush down character(Btw I don’t anyone should be trying to rush Akuma).

Claw in short is a character that best Range for his attacks is in the poking zone.Unlike most character in SF4 who are just playing footies waiting for the chance to get in some major hits Vega wins games by forcing players to keep playing in that zone.

So if Ryu player is playing patiently then your doing it right.


You have to have some sort of pressure game imo. Playing footsies or just trying counterpoke all day doesn’t work for me because it does so little damage. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I’m trying to jump in and land combos like a maniac.

But It’s not the same like cvs2, because he can’t anti air at the optimal range where he should be standing imo. He needs to stand a bit farther back or closer than his c.mp range to anti air jumps.

I feel like the more buttons they push or the more active they are, the more I have a chance to counter them. If they wait, I have to wait…and the damage is not in my favor there.