On Playing A Proper Akuma

So I went and finally got Super Street Fighter 4 recently and settled onto Akuma, moving away from my usual mains of Ryu and Ken. I knew that Akuma wasn’t exactly an easy character, but I was and still am determined to play him.(Though I wish I could’ve experienced him in SF4 at peak power.)

I took my licks, but whether through luck, or just inherent skill(really just luck), I generally began to win a good share of my matches developing a patchworked, scrubby fighting style that had obvious holes in it, but was good enough to me at the time. As soon as I breached the 1000+ PP, my luck ended and my poor tactics got me slammed back down to the sub 1000 PP zone where I belonged. Bad jump-ins, over-reliance on s.HK, and simply little knowledge of how to properly punish and avoid punishment.

To be brief, I simply feel that I’m not only improperly playing Akuma, but simply missing it altogether. How should a proper rushdown, or in general, Akuma play? I am not asking for an in-depth explanation, explaining to me the finest intricacies of Akuma. I am simply looking for a basic but solid starting template for Akuma. Links to threads for beginner Akumas would be nice and some basic BnBs would also be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

What I’ve done so far is just watch matches of players. American, Japanese, whatever. Tokido is probably one of the best examples to follow and I believe watching vanilla videos of Momochi is still applicable. I believe Momochi’s conservative Akuma play is my favorite.

I just watch what they do and if I see anything out of the ordinary, I replay the moment of the video to try to figure out what situation made them do that particular action.

vagueness is key.

  • Be mindful of your shitty health
  • Punish hard
  • Exploit all mistakes with the above
  • Avoid careless mistakes and minimise risk (due to point 1)
  • Keep it varied with Akuma’s massive array of tools
  • Get dirty. Damage is damage
  • If in doubt, block. Mistakes can be game changers when using Akuma
  • Research the ‘vortex’ and learn to begin applying it. Your general gameplan after massive punishment is to gun for a knockdown so you can apply Akuma’s wicked wake-up fuckery.

emphasis on the fukery part haha. but seriously he nailed it right there. find videos on demon setups as well. after you figure out a good vortex demon setups are fun ways of mindfucking your opponent.

  1. Learn the vortex
  2. Mind your shitty health
  3. Execute combos
  4. Get untechable knockdowns
  5. Always punish hard

And remember akuma is one of the most difficult characters to master. Have patience and play your game.

Some videos would help us identify where you are at. Dunno whether to start with the very basic layout of using Akuma or to go to fundamental things, or whether it’s clear to concentrate on advice for Akumas setups. Exactly how badly are you using far HK? do you know full combos for it but just haven’t got the hang of the when and where; or are you constantly throwing it out at half screen and always trying to follow it up with a sweep or something?

I have the same problem. I can do the vortex but my defense and footsies are seriously lacking :frowning:

Sounds like my problems, but if any of you have a capture card and willing to catch my akuma replays I’ll be willing to put them on here so you guys can look him over and tell me what i need to work on.

As you start out with Akuma, you should play the first part of Akuma’s game (pre-knockdown) as you’d normally play a shoto. Use a proper mixture of zoning and footsies. For fireball zoning against other fireball characters, Akuma’s ideal distance is usally max distance, where you can make proper use of red fireballs, using a mixture of lp and hp red fireballs along with his standard fireball. Use a demon flip to score a knockdown or start a mixup if you see the opponent making a late jump over a lp red fireball or getting hit by a hp red fireball. For AA, use a mixture of hp.srk and cr.hp to punish poorly spaced/timed jump-ins.

When playing footsies, you should avoid the overuse of st.hk unless it is one of the few characters where a st.hk’s two hits will hit blocking crouched opponents. His best footsie tool will be his sweep as it’s very fast (for a sweep), safe at max distance against most of the cast, and sets up his knockdown game. In closer distances, use the standard c.mk->fireball to poke, though be aware at max distance, c.mk->fireball is not safe and can be punished by reversals or focus attacks.

Personally, I think when starting out you should know two combos and devote the rest of your time to learning his knockdown vortex game. Learn a easy hit confirm and one punish combo:
hit confirm: cr.lk/cr.lp,cr.lp,cr.lp xx lk.tatsu, hp.srk/sweep
punish: st.hp xx lk.tatsu, hp.srk/sweep

Use the sweep ender wherever it’s applicable to continue your vortex game, which is a crucial element to learn. Starting off, keep your knockdown game simple, learn the spacing and timing for a couple easy mixups like safe j.hk/crossup tatsu or safe demon palm/demon throw. With time, you can start throwing in empty demon flips, crossup fireballs, option selects and other good stuff.

Well put ‘mikerai’. That’s essentially like 90% of all Akumas out there.

IMO - The biggest factors are: 1. defense due to low health 2. footsies for knockdowns because this is where Akuma shines via vortex options etc. 3. lastly, defense cause Akuma will get dizzed or KOed easily by 2-3 normals or 1 ultra/super combo literally from the entire cast.

If any of you wants your replay videos uploaded to Youtube for the others to critique and comment on, send me a PM and schedule a time (in GMT please, convert for me); I can capture it in 720p and put it on my Youtube page. I’ll do it for you. Pick a few good replays (3 to 5?); not too many please.

Just keep in mind that I live in Singapore and the timezone here is GMT+8 hours.

:smiley: How can you tell you “do the vortex” while having bad footsies (and as a result bad spacing)? How can you drive your car without steering wheel?
Or better… how can you drive without getting into the car? Do you have a remote control for this? How do you get your untechable knockdowns?
Learn footsies first and then start telling openly you can “DO THE VORTEX”… whistling-X-files-melody

Yeah it’s weird. I have no problems after getting a knockdown, but getting that knockdown in the first place and getting close enough to the opponent without taking significant damage is what I have trouble with lol