OPENING GAMBIT! - An opening moves thread

I decided to post this thread to try to get a discussion going on the opening moves people like to use with their mains depending on what characters/playstyles they’re up against and why. This is mainly because i’ve been thinking about how to improve my opening game lately against a couple of characters, and after some searching, i couldn’t find a single, comprehensive thread on SRK to use as a reference for some good ideas to try out.

How i thought it could work is, you post who your main is, and then what your usual opening moves are against some or all of the other characters and why. Hopefully it will start a discussion and get some good ideas/suggestions flowing. Rather than posting in character specific threads i thought i would post here, in the hope that it would turn into a kind of “easy to find the info”, ?Multi-Character? reference thread.

I’ve posted my opening strategies (with my main main) versus the entire cast but there’s no need to go to that much detail if you don’t want to. Feel free to just post any good tips or strategies for specific matchups or broad ranges/types of characters (ie: grapplers, non fireballers etc) if you want.Post as much or as little as you feel like, but please POST so that this thread might actually turn into something of a resource for people looking for this kind of info.

OK-Here’s mine:
Main character : DICTATOR.**

Against Ryu: I usually either jump back to bait a fireball and headstomp it or crouch block to punish a dragon punch/wait and see what happens.If i notice that they’re blocking a lot on round opening, i sometimes surprise them with a quick fake slide straight into a back throw.
Against Honda: I mash standing LP for a second to punish any torpedoes, and if they do something else then i try to punish with fierce crusher or scissors.If i think they will use HHS i try to jump out of it, most things dic can do on opening seem to trade badly with the slaps.
Against Blanka: I mash standing jab as with honda, to punish ball attacks, and anti air forward LK jumps. I make sure to keep an eye out for sweeps/slide punches, and look for a chance to crusher them if they jump back.
Against Guile: I jump back and react to whatever they do.This is mainly to stop an offensive guile from getting in on me early and picking up a lead.
Against Ken: Similar to ryu, i either jump back to bait a fireball and headstomp it or crouch block to punish a dragon punch or get out of the way of a hurricane kick.Defensive types get a fake slide into back throw a lot too, but there arent too many defensive kens out there…
Against Gief: 100% Jump away or backdafuck up.Watch for a lariat i can hit with a slide or headstomp
Against Chun: I jump away and keep out of range of her normals, especially jLK
Against Dhalsim: Either a Jump away HK, or jump straight up MP and look for a juggle if i think he’ll open with a jumping punch.Sometimes i wait for a straight up or back jump and hit it with a fierce crusher, but i keep away from empty jumps because of that bastard yoga drill that he can use on reaction.
Against Feilong: Usually i jump away and make sure i have a back charge to punish whiffed chicken wings or flame kicks with crusher/scissors.I try not to let him get close on opening, cause i usually end up on the back foot when that happens.
Against T.Hawk: Jump away or bacdafuck up, watching out for hawk dives to close space, and countering them with standing jab.I play keepaway all day here…
Against Deejay: This is a tricky one.I used to Scissor kick, but a properly timed max out beats it cleanly as i found out, so now i just crouch block and react to what they do.If it’s a maxout i’ll take the block damage, if not and they use upkicks or something else i’ll try to counter with a crusher/scissors. This is a bad matchup for Dictator in terms of openers IMO.
Against Cammy: I jump away, and stay out of range of her normals.I look for an opening to use jab crusher and try to keep lots of space between us.
Against Boxer: Crouching MK all day, to stuff charges.I don’t do too much here, usually just watch out for a buffalo headbutt, cos it fucks me up every time and then he’s all over me like a fat kid on a smartie. Generally i just try to keep space between us with MK and HK pokes at the start of a round.Feedback welcome on this one, i need to improve here, i don’t put enough pressure on.
Against Claw: Scissor kick because it’s priority and speed equals/beats most of his pokes, or heavy crusher if i think he’s gonna try to jump back or rear wall dive.
Against Sagat: Crouch block and watch for a Tiger uppercut or whiffed special i can punish with scissors or standing HK. Jumping in any direction at the start of the round seems to work out badly against him because or fireball speed and uppercut reach.(Need help here)
Against Dictator: Either fast crusher, (usually beats scissors) or sometimes jump back LK to bait them into crushering/scissoring to close distance and then counter. Sometimes just blocking and countering works well too.
**Against Akuma:**I wait for a second to see what he does.I react, but the main aim is to get in on him ASAFP. I try not to let him runaway so he can start his air fireball keepaway BS. If he dragon punches, i crusher his recovery and then a wakeup mixup, if he jumps i try to crusher under his inevitable air fireball and hit/trade him and get in again.This one is really tricky cos akuma has so many options on opening and controls so much space with his damn air FB. Stupid broken mofo…

If anybody has any suggestions or better ideas on anything i’ve posted feel free to correct me.Hopefully someone else will get the ball rolling with a different main character soon.


I play Claw - here’s a couple of mine:

Vs Shotos - Head for my wall - if they throw a FB, move in with the claw and aim to land just in front of them (if you go too deep they DP you)
Vs Honda - Usually try a Scarlet Terror to pick up that headbutt
Vs Dictator - Scarlet Terror again
vs Gief - Cr. MP
vs Blanka - BLOCK!

I copied and pasted this stuff from here: Yoga Book Hyper Character Translations/Advanced Techniques. The YBH was written for vanilla ST and not SFHD, but I think most of it still applies.

It doesn’t delve into specific matchups, just general best choices. It’s also formatted a little messily and there are a few blank spaces, but who are we to complain? :lol:

i.   MP fireball/MP red fireball
ii.  Wait to see what opponents does
iii. Crouching HK
iv.  f+HP to MP or HP throw

i.   HP fireball
iii. Wait to see what opponent does
iv.  Walk up to
      (a) Crouching HK > LP fireball
      (b) MK throw
      (c) LP dragon punch

i.   (walk up) Crouching MK
ii.  (walk up) Lightning kick
iii. Far standing HP
iv.  HP fireball
v.   Wall jump

i.   Sonic boom
ii.  f+MK
iii. Crouching MK
iv.  Vertical jump
v.   Wait to see what opponent does

i.   (?)
ii.  df+HP
iii. Far standing LK
iv.  Wait to see what opponent does

i.   Walk up

i.   Wait to see what opponent does

ii.  b or f+HK
iii. (Walk up) ... to crouching LP / crouching MP / crouching MK
iv.  (?)
v.   MK or HK sumo smash

i.   LP dash low
ii.  LK dash low > throw or MP buffalo headbutt
iii. Far standing HP
iv.  Wait to see what opponent does

i.   Far standing MK
ii.  Crouching HK
iii. Flying barcelona attack

i.   LK grand tiger shot
ii.  Far standing MP or HP
iii. Vertical jumping HK

i.   Wait to see what opponent does
ii.  Standing HK
iii. MK scissor kick
iv.  Throw
v.   Backwards jump (?)

^ ^ ^ Why the heck does the

 tag always create such a large, useless empty space at the end?  :looney:

kinda depends on who I’m playing and how they behave at the opening of the 1st round.

If its somebody I havnt played before I will usually be causious with my opening move opting to maintain a charge. Then in the 2nd round I’ll decide wheather or not to open with an offensive move

If its somebody I’ve played many times before then it depends on which character they’re using, against all charge characters I maintain a charge, against shotos I’ll usually throw a crouching medium kick>sonic boom, unless I know they’re skillful and will dragon my opening move. Against blanka its always jump back with a medium kick. Against zangief its usally a crouching medium kick and/or sonic boom.

My playing style is very defensive so most of the time I dont do an opening gambit I just have a charge ready, if I know the person I’m playing is reckless then I’ll open with a fierce flash kick

lol good thread mackdaddi!! I would positiv rep you if i knew how :wink:

With Blanka against
GIEF: str. j. LP
BLANKA: electric
HONDA: str. j. LK
BISON: back j. HP
GUILE: slide
FEI: str. j LK
HAWK: str. j. LK
VEGA (claw): don’t know what is a good opening
SAGAT: cr. wait then cr. HP if possible

Most of the time I’m too cautious and just wait and see at the round opening. Maybe that’s why my Blanka is so scrubby! Anyway every once in a while I’ll hop to go for the bite, or slide for the knockdown to set up more biting. Oh, and against Honda and Dic jump back LK every damn time. This thread is a great idea!

Why wouldn’t you post this in the General Discussion thread? :stuck_out_tongue:

Just kidding! :slight_smile: Just wanted to pop in and say that this thread is an excellent idea. I’m sure I’ll post something specific later on.

With Honda against

GIEF: :lp: Hundred Hand Slaps

BLANKA: Hold down-back, ready to :hp: headbutt his vertical :lk: on landing or :lp: headbutt his jumping towards :lk:

HONDA: Either :lp: Hundred Hand slaps (non-extended) -> :lp: headbutt or vertical jumping :hp:

SHOTO: 80% block, 10% far sweep, 10% Hundred Hand Slap

BISON: Hold down-back, ready to headbutt him when he lands from his opening jump

CHUN: Hold down-back, ready for a reaction :hk: buttslam over her fireball or lightning kicks

GUILE & DEEJAY: Hold down-back, ready for a reaction :hk: buttslam over his fireball

FEI: Hold down-back, ready for a reaction :lk: buttslam to beat his chicken wings

SIM: Either :hp: headbutt or hold down-back, ready to buttslam over his fireball or :hp: headbutt his jump

HAWK: Hold down-back, ready to :lp: headbutt his dive

VEGA: Either hold down-back or jump-in :d::mk: -> ochio

BALROG: :d::hk: sweep (beats all his specials)

SAGAT: :lp: Hundred Hand Slap

CAMMY: 75% :lp: Hundred Hand Slap, 25% hold down-back

Alright…well…I can play any of the characters to some degree, but I’m probably a Ken main. He was the first character I learned and learning combos only made me start living to ToD people. So…anyway, here’s what I tend to do with Ken.

Ryu: Generally, I react to what he does and resist the temptation to jump forward and combo him into dizziness unless I know a fierce Hadouken is coming. If he does nothing, I’ll start with my ground poking game. Unless the person I’m playing has slow reaction time, is overly aggressive, or just isn’t expecting it, I never start with a Hadouken because of its startup time.

Ken: Just about the same as Ryu, except if the person I’m playing is silly enough to open with a Hadouken, he eats a dizzy combo ending with a Hurricane Kick and loses that round. (Remember that 10 second easy dizzy period folks. It’s no joke!)

E. Honda/Blanka/Dictator: Standing jabs stop horizontal flying moves so wonderfully. :slight_smile: If my reflexes are really on, :lp: Shoryuken. Otherwise, if they don’t do anything, there’s no telling what I’ll do elicit an opening, but I’ll stay in their face until one shows up. I’m not beyond crossing them up from that range…unless they’re sitting there in a crouch-block. I’m aggressive, but I’m not stupid. :slight_smile:

Chun Li: Generally speaking, I just walk forward and try to start my poking game first before she does. Leaves me pretty susceptible to the Kikkoken, yes, but considering her speed and ground game, I’d much rather be offensive than defensive. Besides, if she jumps for whatever reason, I only have to do :d::df:+:hp: to get my Shoryuken on.

Zangief: I will actually take a chance and start the match with a Hadouken once in a while only because Zangief has one move that I’m scared of from this range: Banishing Flat. If he anticipates and counters with the Banishing Flat and then SPDs me, he earned it. Jumping fierce? Ehh…he might or might not be able to jump in time to clear the Hadouken and tag me. Even if he does, he can’t land and SPD me, so I’m in “reversal” mode for whatever he does next. Otherwise, I either back up or jump straight up and :hk: on the way down, and stay just outside of his cr.:hk: range and throw Hadoukens sporadically. Hello?! This is Zangief we’re talking about. :slight_smile: He gotta earn his SPDs!

Guile: Unless the person I’m playing plays Guile like me, I’m blocking, sir. Nothing I do has a chance of not being countered. My hope is that he walks forward and I either cr.:mk: XX Hadouken or I :lp: Shoryuken him before he can hit me so that I can start the FB/DP/HK trap. If he doesn’t do that, I hope he opens with a Sonic Boom so that I can :hk: TATSUMAKISENPUUKYAKU and get in his face to start my SF3:NG Ken mind-games. Oh yeah…I might open with a Hadouken one round to see if he knows how to :lk:/:hk: Flash Kick me on reaction, so that I can fake Hadouken the next time and get my cl.:hp: XX :hp: SHORYUKEN on, too. :smiley: I LOVE that combo!!! :smiley:

ahem Sorry…I kinda sounded like the Ken Flowchart for a second there. Continuing on…

Dhalsim: This dude. Ummm…Psychic :lp: Shoryuken? Risky, but one option. Another is just simply jumping at him and getting it overwith. Works great if he loves to Yoga Fire, though! Hadouken is a decent opener, but not if he’s as good with Yoga Drills or sliding cr.:hk:s as I am. My 'Sim isn’t all that, but I know how to get around Hadoukens, so I try not to let Dhalsim have easy ways around Ken’s Hadoukens. I’d much rather react to the startup of a Yoga Fire with a jump than a Hurricane Kick.

T. Hawk: Either I walk forward and start the poking game or I jump straight up trying to bait a Rising Hawk and Hadouken upon landing. I definitely do the former moreso than the latter. Since I know about his st.:hk:, I may psychic :lp: Shoryuken, too.

Cammy: Another matchup where I may risk opening with a Hadouken. In this case, I’m hoping that she opened with a Cannon Drill. Otherwise, I’ll probably let her come to me…because she pretty much has to. Unfortunately, that means I can’t let her Hooligan Combo me to death, either, so the :lp: Shoryuken and cr.:hp: have to be ready.

Fei Long: Since Fei can’t turtle and win unless he has a lead, my options will be between reacting to his attacks with a Shoryuken and walking forward to start my poking game. :lp: Hadouken is another option because he has to jump forward to clear it or get pushed back…and I may get him to land on a Shoryuken that way. You won’t catch me doing that against a Chicken Wing master, though.

Dee Jay: His ground game is so good that it makes me open very riskily. Jumping forward in hopes that he threw a Max Out. Jumping back and Hurricane Kicking to get way back to start the FB/DP trap…which works much better if I’m playing Ryu, not Ken. :slight_smile: Walking towards him at the start is rough because of his st.:hk:, his sweeps, and…there it is again…the Max Out. As usual, I may try to psychic DP one of his pokes, but his normals are fast and good, so it’s not easy.

Boxer: Cr.:mp: kara cancelled into either a :lp: Hadouken or a :lp: Shoryuken. I may just throw out the :hp: Hadouken if they don’t know about their :hp: Buffalo Headbutt. I stop Boxer’s rushdown by rushing him down and hoping for the best.

Claw: Very tricky because I know that his cr.:mp: may or may not be his first opening move. Sometimes I :lp: Shoryuken…sometimes I jump straight up…sometimes I jump at him…sometimes I Aerial Juice Hurricane Kick toward him. The guy’s too fast to have less than four different openers. I can react to Ken’s Hadouken on reaction, so there’s no way I throw a Hadouken to open.

Sagat: I definitely wait and see what he does, usually in a crouch block. If he throws a high Tiger Shot, I duck it and get in his grill. If he throws a low Tiger Shot, depending on my instincts, I’ll either jump straight up, :lk: Hurricane Kick over it, or jump towards him and hit him. If he walks forward to start poking, I either throw a :hp: Hadouken or :lp: Shoryuken when I think he’ll try to poke at me. If he opens with a Tiger Knee (I dunno…maybe he thought that would be the best way to punish my Hadouken when he could just jump instead?), then that’s a free combo for me. I guess I just wanted to rhyme there.

Akuma: My eyes narrow, my brow furls up, my teeth grit, and my upper lip goes up in both corners…kinda like Elvis…you know…at the sight of him. I have two options…one risky…one potentially risky. One…jump at him. If he started out with a :hp: Gou Hadouken, I’ll be happy to combo him into submission. After all, they can’t hit you back if they’re knocked out. :slight_smile: Two, wait and see if he starts his putridly good aerial FB game…in which case I take back the sky with my SHORYUKEN!!! Otherwise…yeah…I don’t like fighting him, but I’ll gladly pound the person who doesn’t rep him right thinking just picking him equals a win!

I can’t give away my secrets :smiley: I may face one of you some time.

Great post OJ, loads of really good info.Thanks.

Is this 10 second thing something i don’t know about?? An “easy dizzy period”?? WTF?

I usually step forward a little bit and do a St.:mk: at the start of a DeeJay match-up Mack. If it it’ll usually stuff or trade his max-out attempt.

Yeah! You know…jump in on somebody and hit them with two hard attacks and they fall down dizzy? Existed in World Warrior through ST? I was actually kinda throwing that in there as a joke because I don’t really know if that made it into HDR. :slight_smile:

This is a great idea, but there needs to be some way to be able to sift through this information easily. It would suck if half of the good information ended up on page 2-6 or something like that. Anyway I play [Bold]Boxer[/Bold]

Against Shotos, Guile, DJ, and Sagat:
Hold down TAP with kicks and low jab rush. If I get a knock down I use TAP to get closer and keep a down back charge to keep pressuring.
Hold down back and wait for a DP. If nothing comes out I’ll low rush.
Mk, or Hk kick rush if they like to start the round by jumping away (like a lot of Akuma players)

Honda, Chun Li, Sim:
Low rush, wait, low rush, basically I want to try to push them into the corner so they can’t move around freely.

Mash low lp.

I don’t know this matchup very well so I just crouch block.

Headbutt to counter Scissor Kicks.
Low rush if I feel like they don’t want to Scissors Kick.

Low mk (beats slide)
Headbutt (beats low strong)

Fei Long:
Crouch block and respond to whatever Fei Long does.
Low rush if I feel really confident.

T-Hawk and Gief:
Crouch block and respond to whatever they do.

You know…as a Chun-Li player, I almost never do ANY of those things at the beginning of the round.

As fei:
HP Rekka. For everyone.

As geif:
green hand of death xx SPD. For everyone.

As cammy:
lk drill. For everyone.

Pretty simple.

my opener is always wait round 1, then counter opponents round 1 opener in round 2.

i.e. against shoto fireball opener round 1 I’ll block. then round 2 I’ll jump because I’m looking for that fireball.
against shoto jump back opener round 1 I’ll wait see it and start dashing/walking forward, but round 2 I’ll charge watch him jump back and then horizontal blanka ball him if he’s going for distance with hurricane or dash upball if he does a simple jump back roundhouse
against shoto walk forward low poke I’ll footsie, wait for the space then dash over it and grab
against shoto low strong opener I’ll walk in and low sweep it.

waiting >>>>>> gambling

If you do that every round, you’ll get countered for sure. Banishing Flat is especially unsafe on whiff or block. They’d better be asleep when you do that.

This is why you need a variety of openers. :slight_smile:

It might surprise you to know that some people just don’t wise up :slight_smile:
Then again, I usually only play scrubs online, so watching them wise up gives me a personal sense of satisfaction… it’s the ones who keep falling for it that get me bored quickly.

That’s assuming that everyone always starts the round the same way. There are only two classes of player I know that this works on…the newbie…and the scrub. I know because this is exactly how I practice combos on them. :slight_smile:

My question is…what if the person you’re playing does something highly unsafe in round 1 and then does something that takes no risk at all in round 2?