Charge Character Guide Pt.1(repost from SA.com)
Just thought I’d repost this here about now.
This is a guide for the the seasoned SF player to better play charge characters. If you dont know the basics of charging or charge characters; I suggest that you go to another website like gamefaqs.com. Im not interested in repeating basics when there is already plenty of that everywhere you look.
Many long time players still cant grasp how to truly use a charge character. Some disregard them simply because you cant do things on command and the engine usually benefits the command character(especially in CvS2). Its also looked at as being too difficult to play while concentrating on timing and charge times and those aspects of charging. These are my tips to optimize your charge character usage.
Usually, the average player first picks a charge character and immediately goes straight to charging to learn how to play using the special moves. Back, in the SF2 days, there was a whole style based on playing this way. The term coined for this style was Sitting Guile. The idea, basically, was to sit and charge and wait until your opponent was close enough to be forced to block a normal or a sonic boom. Once theyd get the boom off, theyd play to counter your response. Theyd simply match fireballs or jump straight up until you got bored or frustrated at playing that way and decided to advance. Then, sitting Guile went into effect! It was actually a pretty solid strategy if you were capable of reversing throws.
However, that is the only time in SF history that you could devise a whole gameplan around a charge characters specials. Theyve never been fireball/dragonpunch type characters.
One thing that every charge character has in common is, great normals. Since you cant develop your strategy with only your specials, learn how to use every aspect of your normals first. That is where your game is really at. You need to learn the speed of you character when walking immediately. How can you time your moves, precisely, to counter if youre not exactly sure where your move will extend to? Without knowing exactly how fast you walk forward or backward, you can never be sure when you calculate to press a move at the right time. You second guess yourself, pause, and miss the opportunity. After you learn your walking speed, learn the pace at which your normals fully extend and how long the hitbox stays out there. (Sagats low fierce is not good simply for its priority. Its also because of the duration of the hitbox. Its high priority that lasts and lasts which makes it harder to follow in when it whiffs for a lot of characters) Once there, go to learning priority and ranges for priority. This means using each move a lot in order to see what it MAY hit. There are some very weird properties in moves. For example, many dont notice that Ryu dodges back slightly on a high hit during a fireball start up. So, basically, play the cpu like a moron, trying to counter everything with one move at different times. This is where you find the meat of your moves. In fact, very effective, hardcore strategies are found this way. The first one that pops into my head is Guiles low strong dodge into a throw, back on SF2 games. Players found that Guiles low strong will duck jump in attacks so that he doesnt have to block and he can recover before they do from their landing and throw them. Most players today dont look for the most unique aspect of a move. This is called breaking down the game. If youre not breaking down your normal moves, your charge specials arent going to do you well at all. Make sure that you know what moves cause what kind of push whether they land or hit. This is how you start to set up your openings for your charge specials. Learn what you can link before you go into your specials too. Linking is one of the key times to charge and Ill go into that in a few paragraphs(note:eyebreak). Be sure to experiment with your full arsenal of normals including jumping and short jumping attacks(what if you have a cross-up you didnt know about?). I should write a guide for learning your normals but, this should suffice. Lastly, when you learn how to use your normals for positioning; dont forget to see if you have any moves that advance you while you are charging. If you want to play aggressive, this is critical, so make note.
Now, you already know how to play your character better than 75% of the players that attempt to use a charge character.
When learning your specials, be sure to break them down as you would your normals. Every aspect. A sonic boom can be air defense on A2 but not on A3. Dont assume that you can tell what a move can do. Experiment.
Regardless of what type of charge move your character has, maintaining your charge is key. Some tips for charging are:
1)Charge before you release the special. This is a relatively unknown charging technique. Here is a new motion for your charge attack: Charge back(or back and down), tap the stick forward, then tap it back, then press the button that corresponds with the special you are using and the speed you want it to be. This basically lets you charge ahead of time and lets you keep charges even when your opponent thinks that you cant be charged. Ever do a sonic boom and then flashkicked your opponent when he jumped over? This is how you do it. You cant do another sonic boom, sadly, because only one can be on the screen at once. But the whole concept is simple: precharge. This is crucial in using your specials to maintain position, range, pressure and even a mindgame here and there as well as making for some really cool combos involving 2 or 3 charge specials or incredibly difficult to time supercancels. This also helps balance out your overall game with the command character because you have your moves almost at will, when you need them. Couple this with the real charge motion and youll see how fast you can fire off to charge specials in a row or connect charge specials into charge supers in combos. In short, this helps to free you up in regards to special usage.