Seven Minute Saikyo Lesson: Maximizing Damage with Less Buttons


Oh, it’s you guys again.

Yeah, it’s been kind of boring here in the Kingdom of Saikyo. That army dude with the stick came up with some weird power that froze time, and now everything around me is like some giant wax museum only without the complimentary candles. Until the powers that be come up with a solution to this “time freeze” crap, it looks like there’s nothing for me to do but to train for my big comeback.

…but hey, as long as you’re here, stick around and I’ll give you some extra Saikyo-ryu lessons on the house. See, I’ve been keeping a close eye on the forums and chat rooms, and it seems that many of my former students that had the gall to think they could branch out on their own are curling up into a ball and banging their head against the wall complaining about Street Fighter x Tekken. The timer is too fast, nickel-and-diming, all of the stuff you’d expect…but there was one thing that didn’t really sit right with me.

“Damage output is too low and damage scaling punishes you for long combos.”

As most of you know, Street Fighter x Tekken operates with a juggle system in place, much like Tekken itself. The big differences between that and this is that in this game, juggles have a count on them, and damage scaling works the same way as opponents do when they’re on the ground. Every character has a way they can get their opponents into a juggle state on their own, and this can lead to anywhere from 350 to over 400 points of damage with only one stock of meter, and some characters can get to 330 and above with no meter at all! Of course, I could probably get to somewhere in the 500 ballpark off of standing LK, but since I’m on hiatus right now, you don’t have to worry about that.

So get your warm-ups in place, because Hibiki-sensei is going to teach you guys how to maximize your damage output by pressing less buttons!

Alright, got your gloves on? Taken your shoes and socks off? GOOD! Let’s begin!

For those who aren’t aware, this is how damage scaling works in Street Fighter x Tekken:

1st move = 100%.
2nd move = 100% <---- I’m using the term “move” because damage scaling works in “moves” and not “hits.” This means that 2nd move is one that hits multiple times, it will not scale because it’s still a single move.
3rd move = 80%
4th move = 70%

10th move and after = 10%

Why is this important, you ask? Because in Street Fighter x Tekken, the powers that be have introduced Cross Rush, which we talked about in our earlier lessons. Something I didn’t tell you was that Cross Rushes have their own individual damage scaling SEPARATE from regular damage scaling. Even those your moves in the Cross Rush look like regular normal moves only sped up, they have their own damage properties that are less than stand-alone normals. On top of that, after the 2nd hit, regular damage scaling will sink in and give your 3rd hit (likely a Heavy attack) much less oomph than if you hit it by itself…or if you linked it.

I’ll get to links in a bit, but I want to talk about Cross Rush some more. If you’ve been spending time by yourself training, you’ll have noticed that launchers that are attained via Cross Rushing are 50 damage consistently. Damage scaling will still kick in after the second hit, so launcher will do even less if you do it from LMHH. The bad news is that everything you do after that, namely tag in your partner and start a juggle, is still affected by damage scaling. Because of this, there’s an illusion going around that this game is low damage despite the fast timer, and it’s annoying people.

Alright kids, now this is the part where we get serious. I’m going to teach you how to get the most damage off of your tag-in juggle while at the same time achieving the end result your want: letting your partner in while you take a breather and recover your gray health.

  1. Don’t be afraid to Raw Launch.

If you guys paid attention to my Tutorial, you should know by now that RAW LAUNCHER CRUSHES LOWS. I’m screaming that because this is an underutilized tool that can save you in a pinch, especially if your opponent enjoys pressuring you with crouching pokes like c.lp or On top of that, Raw Launcher does an unscaled 100 damage each time, which is twice as much as a launcher you comboed into using Cross Rush. If you see a crouching attack coming, especially if it’s off of a failed jump-in attack, knock ‘em into the heavens with HP+HK and let your partner do the rest. Saikyo disciple FlyingVe created a wonderful video showing off some great BnBs to do off of a launch, so take a look at that after you’re finished.


  1. Abbreviate your Cross Rushes if you already know the first hit will connect.

Like I said before, Cross Rush hits have their own damage scaling built in that makes the move weaker than if you hit the move by itself. That means you are potentially limiting your overall damage by automatically going into Cross Rush in full, and that’s not something we can have. Instead, I’m going to teach you guys a little trick, exclusive to the Saikyo Dojo until now.

You can go directly into launch off of a normal by pressing HP+HK. If your opponent does something pants-on-head daft and you know you can punish it with anything you want, then HP>Launcher, HK>Launcher, or even MHH will net you more damage than if you punished with LMHH. You can also L>Launcher, if that’s your cup of tea.

This is important because the shortened Cross Rush means the heavy damage scaling has not kicked in, and your partner running in for the juggle will net CONSIDERABLY more damage than if they came off of a full Cross Rush.

  1. Learn to link.

Longtime students are aware that links are still present in Street Fighter x Tekken, many of them still good from Street Fighter IV and its updates. AND THEY’RE JUST AS GOOD, IF NOT BETTER! Remember what I said about Cross Rush having its own damage scaling. Links follow the regular rules, and that means more damage for you with the same buttons, and often times, better opportunities to land greater damage. For example, that bastard Sagat can chain > as a Cross Rush type series, but this doesn’t give him much damage and it also has bad recovery, leaving him unable to do much of anything except continue the Cross Rush.

But he can also LINK that same >, only it nets him MORE damage, and MORE follow ups like a special move, an EX move, or even a c.lp to go into a true Cross Rush. Linking is good for you, and in Street Fighter x Tekken it’s much easier to do than it was in SFIV. MUCH easier. If you’ve been holding it off, it’s time to take off the training wheels and be an adult. Learn them, be consistent with them, and use them. You’ll be glad you did and you’ll feel great about yourself knowing you learned them.

  1. Spend your meter wisely

As I mentioned at the start of the class, most characters can get 350 and above with only one bar of EX. That’s more damage on average than Super Arts. While Cross Rush can’t be cancelled into a special, it CAN be cancelled into an EX move, and many EX moves have extra goodies like extended hit stun, wall bounce, and other things you can do to continue your combo. My top-tier network of martial artists at Shoryuken, Eventhubs, and other such places have amassed combo lists you can use to get the most damage off of the least meter. That way, if you decide to save your meter for a flashy Super Art or even a Cross Art, you’ll be getting the most out of it instead of spending it on a weaker combo and not doing much except waste time and look cool…not that there’s anything wrong with that!


That was a killer workout, huh? I’ve just taught you guys some super-secret Saikyo arts, so what I want you guys to do is go home and practice! Everything I taught you can be done without my constant eye watching you, so when I see you guys again, you better show me everything I taught you without me holding your hand.

Now if you’ll excuse me, Rainbow Mika and Jaycee released a…ahem “wrestling” DVD and I need to watch it for research…

The SFxT ver. 2013 guide and tech compendium
You're Doing It Wrong (Addressing common mistakes/misperceptions with solutions)
The SFxT ver. 2013 guide and tech compendium
Newbie/Beginner's Links
Newbie/Beginner's Links
You're Doing It Wrong (Addressing common mistakes/misperceptions with solutions)
SFxT General Discussion Thread rev.B

That video was helpful for a handful of characters I like to use, thanks a lot.

I don’t know why as well, but when people use all that meter to do a “fancy” combo yet they do barely any damage and would of done MORE damage by doing less (and easier) things…it makes me salty.

I feel like saying, learn how to spend meter dumb ass, Meter is a privilege, not a right.

Anyway, great post PhyscoBlue


I did this a LOT early on and only recently have I forced myself not to do that, looking at the best BnBs for my guys (Heihachi/Sagat) and realizing how much damage they can do without using supers…especially since both of their supers are two of the weakest in the game damage-wise.


Blue I guess it’s already in Heihachi’s thread about his very strong Boost combos? Like Cl. :hp: > :qcf: :lp: ~ :hp: >Launcher ~
I’m sure this is very old but it was some stuff i was messing around with at my leisure along with finding useful gem builds for him.

The thing about links you mentioned, it depends on how long the Boost combo is in actuality.
I did a little test with Kazuya/Juri
Kazuya’s link/chain combo of 2x Cr. :mp: ~ Cr. :mk: - :hp: > Launcher ~ Cr. :hp: ~ J. :hp: ~ Cl. :hp: does around 370 damage which is pretty good. If Juri does Cr. :mk: > Super after the jump cancel she doesn’t quite reach the 500 damage point which she easily gets off a cross rush when shorten.

I think using EX moves in a Boost Combo is a hit or miss thing. I personally believe if you boost combos are doing more then 320 damage your in the green(meterless), you know by doing all the stuff presented before. spending 1 bar for 20-50 damage is kinda iffy…supers…it’s up to you, if you can make a dent in their lifebar or get a KO…go for it.


What I’m (or rather, Dan) getting at is that there are so many better ways you can get into launcher than just LMHH, including the Heihachi and Kazuya combos you mentioned. As you said, they do so much more damage than LMHH and damage scaling doesn’t hurt it as badly. Furthermore, your partner will be able to come in and do more damage than he/she would have done if they were coming in off of LMHH. Experiment and see which combo with a launcher ender works best.

I think using EX moves from Boost Combo is useful because it allows you to hitconfirm in a pinch, especially if said combo results in some form of extended hit stun (slow opponent recovery, juggle, that sort of thing). You could get more damage from linking into the EX move, but if you sneak in an lp and it’s late in the match, don’t be afraid to use it. Also, you’d want to use stuff like that if your partner is the one who needs to recover, and not you. Tagging them in when they haven’t recovered their gray health yet is a bad idea because it defeats the purpose of tagging in the first place.


I get yeah, for sure~ but It’s as i said, when dealing with EX moves it real character specific at that point.


Also, don’t forget about the characters who can get the full 100 damage launcher by raw launching from certain attacks.

For example raw tagging off a lp or lk with Asuka makes her launcher do 100 damage, rather than the reduced cross rush launcher damage.

Good post!


Alright guys, remember what I said about the 50 on launcher not being affected by damage scaling?

That is incorrect. Played in the lab some more and the damage scaling does indeed set in. No idea why I thought otherwise.



DocDignity has created a great vid to explain what I was talking about of abbreviating Cross Rushes.