Sean's (terrible) Matchups

I decided I would make this a new thread rather than add it to the Sean guide, but I will link to these over there so it’ll all be neat and easy to find. I’m gonna reserve a couple slots for future additions, and unless there are questions about specific character’s I’ve already covered, I’d prefer most discussion to take place in the other thread. Link here

Urien matchup data is done so I think Makoto will be my next one, but that’s gonna take a while. Anway before we get into specifics, here’s a general overview about playing against anyone in 3s which is important to remember.

Matchups: They key to beating any opponent with Sean is not so much to play defensively and punish them for every mistake. Though this is a great strategy in a lot of fighting games, and can be in this one as well, Sean’s moveset is so terrible that most of your opponents have the luxury of not having to make mistakes, leaving you no window to punish them. This is the reason that he’s a low-tier character, he can’t force his opponent to make mistakes so they have no reason to do so. Sure it helps to be able to punish, and you should where you can, but the better your opponents become, the less opportunities you will find, so there has to be another way. Sean gets wins off of being unpredictable, and off of knowing what his opponents want to do before they do it, and realistically, only through playing hundreds, or thousands of matches will you develop this ability so hopefully this matchup thread will help negate some of that. 3rd strike has parries, and Sean needs them. If your opponent knows that they can do a safe blockstring over and over again, and you don’t have super meter how do you beat it? Parry. If you’re inexperiened with parries, go into parry training and get experienced, it’s absolutely imperative that you not be afraid of any tool your opponent has, because if you are, they’ll know it, and you’ll lose. In these write-ups, I’m going to talk a lot about common strategies used by each character, most of the time these strategies won’t be used by truly skilled opponents, because truly skilled opponents know that mixup is crucial, and that anyone can learn how to identify and react to certain situations. Below you’re just going to find advice on how to beat a lot of the people playing each character, hopefully what this will do is make playing Sean easier by turning what seemed like surefire ways to win for your opponents into losses, and at the same time make them better players too by showing them that you can’t flowchart your way to a victory, especially not in this game. When you do fight a truly skilled opponent, there will be no strategy or counter-strategy that will always work, you’re going to be on your own, you will have to win with only your mind, and your execution, the goal in maining Sean is to make those skilled opponents have to do the same thing to beat you. You’re going to be starting at a huge disadvantage in practically every matchup, good luck.

Gameplay types: We all know that typically in a fighter there are two types of gameplay; rushdown and turtle. We also know that different characters have strengths that make one or the other a better option, and hopefully we all know that a combination of both and the ability to switch between them is what true winners have. As such I will typically define matchups in these terms, and attempt to point out common strategies that certain characters use. I’m also gonna talk about what each character wants out of the matchup, because if you know this, it can only help you win.

Sean vs. Urien

Notes – ~ Dragon Smash will hit Urien. This makes ~ Dragon Smash your best meterless punish. It also means that ~ Dragon Smash ~ Super will hit Urien, in the case of Hado Burst, this does more damage, but in Shoryu-Cannon’s case ~ Dragon Smash ~ Shoryu-Cannon is still your best bet because the Dragon Smash causes the first two hits of Shoryu-Cannon to whiff.

Sean’s Unblockable (Urien only): There’s no video evidence of this that I can find, and honestly I don’t believe it’s truly an unblockable. But I’ll put this info here in case someone asks about it. There’s a strategy that involves hitting Urien with Shoryu-Cannon, then dashing forward, immediately, throwing a ball then doing an lp sean roll to go under him. If timed right the ball will hit Urien extremely low during his wakeup, and you can combo from it into another Shoryu-Cannon. Now, I actually think this is a decent mixup, on any character, but it’s not a real unblockable, most people just don’t react in time to getting meaty’d by the ball so late and block correctly.

Punishable Moves: Due to game mechanics punishing moves on block is definitely more crucial to SF 2 or SF 4 than it is in 3s, and Sean is probably hands down the worst character at this. This is why I touted parries in my general write-up, being a good Sean player (or a good player in general) is about reacting to the situation you’re in, not necessarily punishing on block, and the best opponents likely won’t give you any opportunities to, but it is important to know when you can, so I’ll put this data here.

Cr.hp – 2 hit elbow. Can be punished with very strict timing with,, and far+hp. is the easiest to connect with if you want guaranteed damage but it doesn’t get much else. Hado-Burst and Hyper Tornado punish this easily, everything else whiffs, yeah now maybe you see what I mean about Sean’s range problem. The move is cancelable if the Urien player wants to pressure you, if this is done it will have to be done after the first hit, before the second, Urien gets mad mixup from this, plus the ability to potentially cancel his special into Super as well. It’s kinda silly how all that works. I don’t expect too many Urien players to cancel off of this, but one zany tip. If you try to red parry the 2nd hit of elbow, you’ll pretty much end up parrying whatever he canceled into as well (don’t try this unless you’re feeling yourself though, and be prepared to eat a dangerous headbutt to Aegis on your knockdown cause that’s probably what’s gonna happen when you mess up the timing.) If you block this while crouching only the first hit of the elbow will hit you, leaving you a lot more time to punish. A sweep is easy to get in this scenario, as well as ~ super, plus, there’s not hardly as much pushback, so cr.lp and will hit and so will a raw Shoryu-Cannon. As always, be mindful of not crouching the whole match, but if you block this crouching, you’re in much better shape. – Overhead heel. I hate this stupid move, but most Urien players don’t use it, at least not often. It’s an overhead so it can only be blocked standing, and it’s pretty slow. It can be punished with a, but this is a just frame punish so it’s very difficult, you’re probably better off not trying to punish it this way. It can also be punished by Hado Burst and Hyper Tornado so if you have one and you catch your opponent doing this, go for it. One further thing is that if you block it at anything other than extreme range, and the Urien player ducks, you’re at the perfect distance for UOH ~ Hyper Tornado or Hado Burst link. Don’t count on them ducking though. This move is kinda slow on startup, making it look like a great idea to hit him for trying, but if you’ve ever played against the computer you know what I’m about to say, it changes Urien’s hitboxes making them farther away from you, so lots of things that look like they won’t whiff will, and you’ll get hit. You probably won’t see this move often though, just because it is so easy to interrupt and has limited range. – Sweep. Urien’s sweep is dangerous because of it’s long range. If you block it at long range (which is likely,) only Hado Burst and Hyper Tornado punish it. But up close it’s very unsafe.,, far+hp, and will all punish, in fact you can even get a walk up if timed right.

T+mk: Quarrel Kick: Urien’s t+mk is actually -2 so you can punish it with Shoryu-Cannon and Hyper Tornado, the good news is, even though other punishes aren’t free, he’s close enough to you where you can actually hit him with any of your moves (on block) even a walk forward throw (none of this is guaranteed, but you can take the ball out of Urien’s court.) Urien players probably won’t do this move unless they’re doing an Aegis unblockable though, but just in case.

T+mp ~ T+hp Target Combo: I see this so rarely that sometimes I forget Urien has it. On block it’s not safe, but it pushes Urien back so far that only Hado Burst and Hyper Tornado will punish it (sensing a trend?) Only reason I really pointed it out was to mention that the t+mp will whiff if you duck, making the combo impossible and giving you ample time to whiff punish. Then again I doubt you’ll catch anyone doing this. Also if your opponent wants to do just a t+hp overhead, it will leave you at perfect UOH ~ SA1 or 3 range, but I really don’t think a Urien player would crouchblock after this move, but they may be charging a dangerous headbutt or EX dangerous headbutt during the blockstun. UOH if done fast enough will hit them out of it, and if for some reason they were crouch blocking it hits them then too, and you can tack on a super if you confirm it, so doing a UOH after blocking this stuffs two of Urien’s options. Be careful employing this though because even though it’s good, if the Urien player senses it coming, they have time to parry you or interrupt it. Also keep in mind for all of these scenarios that just because you have moves that can’t punish, the Urien player may put another move on the screen and you can use your long range moves (far+hp, and to footsie and likely outprioritize whatever he does since you’ll still have frame advantage. Just because it’s not proper punishment and guaranteed damage doesn’t mean it’s a bad idea. In fact interrupting your opponent out of a move he’s doing right after you blocked something safe (or at least unpunishable) is a huge part of getting in their head.

Specials: Below I’ll talk about Urien’s specials and what I know about them. Keep in mind good players won’t just be putting them on the screen, but some of this knowledge will help you deal with these tools. Urien is somewhat odd in that his specials aren’t largely designed to hit you, but rather they’re tools Urien uses to accomplish his main goals; putting you in the corner and knocking you down so he can put an Aegis up your ass on your wakeup. For this reason, don’t look for Urien players to be using his specials randomly, if the player wants to hit you, his normals are far superior for that purpose.

Metallic Sphere: lp+Metallic Sphere is only punishable on block at extremely close range (like throw range or just barely outside of it.) And you’re extremely unlikely to block it that close. You can get and, according to frame data you can just frame too but I was not able to do this when testing. Hado Burst and Hyper Tornado will punish. Shoryu-Cannon won’t punish, but it’s invincible on startup so the sphere will go through you if they trade. You’re best jumping over this and hitting Urien in recovery, which he’s in for a pretty long time. Be aware that Metallic Sphere’s hitbox is bigger than other fireballs, and will hit you out of the air easier, whereas you can time a wheel kick to go over a hadoken or EX hadoken, Metallic Sphere will hit you out of it almost every time, if not every time. Here’s another neat trick. Sean tackle will cause a jab, or EX Metallic Sphere to whiff, if and only if you hold down the button and the move goes into active frames when the sphere would hit you. This can be really useful if you’re sure Urien is going to throw one and you’re at the perfect range to hit him with Sean tackle, don’t do an empty one, use your advanced knowledge of the matchup to make him take damage! Sean tackle by the way beats all 4 versions of metallic sphere, because the mp and hp ones will whiff entirely, be sure you’re ready to whip this move out as a whiff punisher from range. Sean roll goes under all versions too, but doesn’t do damage. Important to note that mp and hp Metallic Sphere both have quicker recovery, so you have less time to punish, and perhaps important to note that EX hits twice, and has horrible recovery if you block it (-16). You can actually punish it with t+hk if timed right, and will hit too even though it looks too far away.

Violence Knee Drop: Except for the EX all versions of this are the same on block (-18) and Urien is airborne if you block it, meaning you can pretty much hit him with anything and cause a reset (you could also wait for him to land and hit him then but that might be an unnecessary risk.) I have had far+mp whiff, but if you’re punishing correctly, you can get the close versions of Sean’s normals for punishers, which means you can confirm to super if you’re using SA1 or 2. This also means you can cancel these moves into wheel kick, sean roll, or sean grab for mixup/pressure. Urien should never be putting this move on the screen because he’s trying to hit you, (unless you’re turtling really really hard, cause it is an overhead) he’s using it to switch position or as part of an unblockable setup, or heaven forbid to chip you out, but you really should be able to parry this on reaction. EX homes in on you, hits twice, and is impossible to punish with anything other than Hado Burst and Hyper Tornado, not because it is safe (it’s not) but because it pushes back reaaaallly far. Also, if you parry the first hit of it, but not the 2nd in the corner, Urien will sometimes land behind you, this will happen anywhere on the screen if only the 2nd hit of the move hits you, say if it’s a meaty. This is probably not information you need, but hey. Additionally, if you parry a regular knee drop, you can walk or dash under it to cross under Urien really quickly, except for getting out of the corner (which is hella important vs Urien) and screwing up a chariot tackle charge (assuming he had one) this won’t do much, but it may throw off the Urien’s player’s blocking as well, even if you dash under you still have time to punish however. It’s important to note that Violence Knee Drop usually beats Dragon Smash, and even EX Dragon Smash clean, and often will beat wheel kicks too. If you want to hit him out of this move, use a jumping normal.

Dangerous Headbutt: Once again this is another move Urien isn’t really trying to hit you with (except for in a combo, and except for maybe the EX version.) This is probably the one special of Urien’s you need to fear. It’s an anti-air, it’s too safe to reliably punish, it crosses you up if you duck under it, and the EX version is +2 on block. Even though the jab version is -2, Urien has a larger throw range than Sean and Urien can throw after getting this move blocked, whereas Sean can only hope to tech a throw or interrupt a throw attempt with a fast normal. Your absolute best way of dealing with this move is to duck under it and hit Urien as he’s doing the move. It whiffs on your duck, but will cross you up so be careful, I recommend using c.hp here. Hitting Urien out of this move will cause a reset so be aware of your options. Unless he’s turtling, Urien will do this move a lot, and its technically unsafe, but much like an EX tornado kick, Urien has a lot of options for minimizing it’s risk, the chief one being a throw. I don’t know why either but I seem to get thrown when my opponent does this everytime even though I know it’s coming. The key to beating this move is to hit him out of it, preferably with a crouching normal, period. If he lands or you block it, think of something fast (reversal, super, neutral jump, throw-tech, s.lp) because Urien just got what he was aiming for and that player is ready to hurt you. If you block the EX, I’d suggest sean roll, I’m not sure if neutral jumping here will save you, but it might. Then again, EX dangerous headbutt combos into itself, and does crazy stun so putting yourself in the air might be a horrible idea. Keep in mind that if the Urien player thinks you’ll throw tech, or jump, or do a fast standing normal that whiffs on crouching opponents like s.lp, he’ll probably just do a c.hp and juggle you into oblivion, this is essentially the braindead easy mixup that gets Urien with meter free wins. You could hold forward when you throw tech, and this might prove more helpful, you might even find yourself throwing Urien if you blocked and timed it perfectly. But as I said, fear this move and I’ll discuss how to deal with Urien strategies below.

Chariot Tackle: Again a move that Urien is probably not going to try to hit you with (unless it’s in a juggle) but some bad Urien players think it’s a good idea to test the waters on this move every now and then. I’m basically just gonna cover the lk version since it’s the safest (again, apart from EX.) lk Chariot Tackle is -10, but it pushes Urien back pretty far, and are the only moves that hit it (aside from your awesome SA1 and SA3 supers of course,) but you should be able to punish it every time, and if it was an mk or hk version, it’s even slower. EX chariot tackle is different, it’s -9, and it pushes you half the screen away on block, forcing you in the corner, but Urien ends up right next to you. In this case you can punish with cl.hp or, or pretty much everything you’ve got, be sure to hurt him bad if you ever block this. Also I find Chariot Tackle to be a bit slow and easy to see coming for parry purposes, so you might try parrying it too. I’ve noticed that some Urien players think getting someone to block this puts them at a great distance to do a dangerous headbutt which they were charging during the chariot tackle, if you fail to punish, you might wanna remember that (course if you’re busy whiffing a that you mistimed it won’t matter will it?) Now, Urien can cancel to super off of this move, which some Urien players will do. If they put the super out on your block, well then you’re no longer concerned with the Chariot Tackle, but if you parry the chariot tackle and they still put the super on the screen (which many will) if you immediately Shoryu-Cannon, you will beat them, this is very hard to time, but trust me, it’s a nasty surprise for that Urien player who thought that they had just turned a bad move into a good one.

Supers: We all know that almost every Urien player only uses Aegis Reflector, but I’ll cover the other two just because.

Tyrant Slaughter: I can’t tell you when was the last time I saw this super. It does 5 hits, and all the damage comes from the last hit so if you red parry, make sure not to screw up on the last hit. If you block it Urien is right next to you at a huge disadvantage so punish with your best damage possible. I can really only think of three situations in which a Urien player would do this super. 1 – On wakeup, it is a 1 frame super. 2 – Canceled from a move (probably Chariot Tackle) as an okey-doke, this is the one that’s most likely. 3 – Randomly in order to chip you out.

Temporal Thunder: Projectile super, it can be comboed into off of several of Urien’s moves as well as off of Metallic Spheres and Chariot Tackles, but again, you usually only see this one in 3 scenarios. 1 – On wakeup, it’s another 1 frame super. 2 – As an anti-air, it hits very high when it first forms. 3 – As an attempt to chip you out. It hits 5 times basically like Ryu’s Shinkuu-Hadoken, but it’s really slow moving and easy to parry. Up close it’s a 5 hit parry, but I’ve seen it only be 4 sometimes and even 3 once, I have no idea what causes that. Sean tackle can whiff under it the same way it whiffs under Metallic Spheres by the way. The super does insane stun, like half a bar, so you might see it used because of that.

Aegis Reflector: I could probably spend 8 pages on this arguably game-breaking move, but I won’t, I’ll just cover some stuff I consider important. There’s 4 of them, depending on the attack used or the EX which is an anti-air one. It hits 6 times, needs to be parried 6 times or blocked 6 times or any combination of those (in other words if you parry 3 hits, then block 2, then let go, it will hit you once.) It will hit 6 times no matter how long it was on the screen before it hit you initially. Now for some stuff you might not have known. Aegis when first put on the screen inches slightly toward Urien’s opponent (you) for about 2 seconds no matter whether it’s behind you or in front of you. It is possible to parry an Aegis that is behind you that you jumped into, or that inches into you by hitting toward relative to your characters positioning. Let me explain this so that there’s no confusion. If I am on the player 1 side then toward, would be right on the stick or pad. If Urien puts an Aegis behind me, that’s creeping up on me from behind hitting right on the stick will parry it. Additionally if I jump left, into the Aegis, away from Urien, hitting toward, or right will parry it mid-air. Parrying like this will actually make Sean’s sprite switch directions, but don’t worry, keep hitting toward you will parry out of it this way. I know this doesn’t make sense but that’s how it works, and it’s also how you parry out of the midscreen unblockable. The reason it’s unblockable is because you wake up into an Aegis that’s hitting you from the right side of the screen, moments before Urien hits you from the left (if you’re player 1.) Even though the Aegis is behind you, parrying toward will parry the Aegis, parrying toward again, will parry Urien’s leg, parrying toward again will parry the stupid pullback into Aegis which parrying that move causes, Sean’s sprite will switch directions 3 times but you’re hitting the same input everytime. This is pretty difficult to explain, but I don’t have any sort of video capture ability, so here’s another attempt to explain how to parry a midscreen unblockable. If you’re player 1, when Urien knocks you down, you’re on the left and he’s on the right, when you wake up into Aegis, he’ll have crossed you up putting him on the left and you on the right, in order to parry out of it, tap right and keep tapping right, the reason for this is because the game considers the Aegis to be hitting you first before the crossup. Also, you can low parry Aegis as well. Just thought I should mention that.If Urien puts an Aegis on your wakeup in the corner, (which he will) there’s no real solution to getting out of it, you have to guess block or guess parry correctly. But it is important to note that Shoryu-Cannon’s invinciblity will go through Aegis long enough for Sean to hit Urien, then the Aegis hits you (midscreen Shoryu-Cannon can actually get away from Aegis safely depending on exactly where it is) it’s not much but it’s something.

Urien’s goals: A Urien player cheifly wants to do 3 things: Put you in the corner, launch and juggle you, knock you down if he has an Aegis. This in my opinion leads to Urien being more of a turtle based character, and his extremely long range and largely safe normals only help him do this. Then again a rushdown Urien can put you in the corner very easily, even if you block well. But in my experience, especially before they’ve built meter, most Urien players will turtle. Additionally, rushdown Urien requires charge partitioning if you want to make full use of his options and your run-of-the-mill player isn’t going to be able to do this, meaning, statistically speaking, most Uriens will play defensively. Urien is looking to hit you with basically one or all of the following; c.hp, throw, anti-air metallic sphere, sweep. These are the moves you need to be expecting, and the moves that will seal your doom if you get hit by them and Urien has meter. He can juggle for well over half your life and c.hp and anti-air metallic spheres both net him juggles.

Urien Strategies: Commonly I’ve found that as soon as “Round 1 – Fight” happens most Urien’s will either put a long range normal on the screen hoping to catch you doing something, or immediately walk backwards. Hp Sean grab is a great option from the very start, you’d be surprised how often this works by either going under their move, or just catching them walking backwards. In fact I’ve found that Sean grabs tend to work well on Urien players in general because they’re so often walking backwards to either build a charge, or simply get as far away from you as possible, and because they can beat metallic spheres as I mentioned above. Otherwise your standard far+hp will catch most everything Urien was going fishing with. Don’t look for these strategies to work twice in a row, unless you feel like your opponent is that type of player. Often times when you’ve frustrated a Urien player from the start of the match, they may go with a knee drop as soon as the round starts, but you have all day to block, parry, or interrupt this, it’ll pretty much only catch you if you go with far+hp again. If you managed to hit Urien with a Sean grab, don’t let up on him, stay in his face, he wants to be far away from you so don’t let him (in fact this is pretty much the strategy for all turtles.) If you do this the Urien player will try to get you off of him however he can which will probably involve dangerous headbutts and throw attempts as well as sweeps. He still wants to knock you down remember? Crouching up close can solve a lot of these problems as you can easily interrupt dangerous headbutts this way, and block any of his long range lows (remember to punish blocked sweeps and blocked elbows) so throws and overheads are all you need to worry about. I’ve found that good Urien players will parry into elbow, this is the main way that Urien juggles you, so if your opponent shows he can parry, be careful and don’t be putting sweeps on the screen for no reason (this to this day loses me matches, I just can’t quit the, even though it’s such a bad idea.) Lets say turtle Urien is full-screen, what’s he gonna do? Well, he’s gonna act like a flowchart shoto. Most definitly, he’s gonna throw metallic spheres, which you’d be an idiot not to parry, it’s free meter. Often though the Urien player thinks he’s smart and has a backup plan, after throwing a full screen metallic sphere, lots of (probably unskilled) Urien players will do one of two things: 1) Throw a mp metallic sphere because they think that you’ll think they’ll throw another lp one and jump over it thus hitting you with an anti-air which can also net them a juggle, or 2) Chariot Tackle/EX Chariot Tackle. If they go with the 2nd sphere option, Sean grab is free. Alternatively, you could jump-in, parry the anti-air sphere, and combo them (be aware that smart Urien players will react to the parry with a c.hp so be ready to parry 3 times if need be.) If they Chariot Tackle, block it, or better, parry it and punish. Hopefully as long as you continue to stuff this basic strategy the Urien player will have to think of something else, but a lot of them won’t.

Note, even against turtles, wheel kicks are a bad idea cause anti-air metallic spheres will hit you. It’s bad times yo. If Urien is a little less reptilian he will likely try to stay in a range where he can hit you but you can’t hit him, and also a range where whiffed dangerous headbutts will net him an easy throw, unfortunately for you, this range is about the same distance and most of his moves on block put him right there. Jumping at this range can be a bad idea cause the dangerous headbutt will anti-air you and possibly net him a juggle. As I mentioned, getting used to hitting him out of dangerous headbutt (which is something that I personally still struggle with) is much better than reacting to the throw/c.hp mixup off an intentionally whiffed one. Also look out for Urien to neutral jump from about this range. He’ll do this because his neutral jump hk has such good range it will actually hit you from this far, and he may be able to combo from it. Urien will also try to get you in the corner, which he probably will do at some point during the match, once you’re there, he’ll want to knock you down so watch for sweeps and throws. You should try to get out of the corner if you can. Sean roll is great for this and also if you’re in the corner or close to it, use a back throw to switch positions. It’s extremely situational but you can actually back throw through an Aegis too, I did it in one of the matches I’ve uploaded to youtube. Rushdown Urien’s will like to cancel a chariot tackle (blocked or otherwise) into Aegis Reflector so be aware of that, if you parry a chariot tackle you can interrupt the Aegis with Shoryu-Cannon as mentioned above, doing this is hot. Rusdown Urien’s also know that they can cancel off of a which is scary because it is a pretty good poke and if they hit confirm you’re probably eating a lot of damage, but here’s the good news, you can duck under it. Another tip against Urien, if he throws you midscreen, tech-roll. This will cause the inevitable Aegis on your wakeup to whiff depending on what strength of Aegis he used, and it also might change what he has to do to get you in an unblockable setup. Be aware that any multi-hit throw can be mashed out of for less hits, if he hits you with his choke throw, be sure to do this.

Reserved for Makoto

Reserved for Makoto part 2