sagat is tough. but here’s the way that i manage to win if i can beat him.
sagat is all about spacing, zoning, fireballs, tigerknee. lol. most sagat’s will try to get you in a fireball war, cause they know sagat wins in the fireball war at least for the most part. so yeah, if they want it, give it to them. when the match first starts, you should just give it to them because you yourself need meter as well, and getting close to sagat at this point is hard cause pursuing a sagat is just hard to do in general. so step back and fireball.
duck under high tigers, after you duck it, IMMEDIATELY throw a hp fireball. and then throw another one after it.
jump over low tigers, if he does it fast, hurricane kick late, if the low tiger is SLOW, hurricane kick asap, preferably before the peak of the jump to come down slower, you can spot the speed of his fireball if you’re looking for it.
if he happened to do a fast high tiger and you jumped, hurricane kick asap, like on the way up, if he does a slow high tiger, don’t do anything and just land then duck it and throw your fireball immediately after. and toss out another one.
if he does nothing, hurricane kick really late on the way down to get that meter.
if he delays doing his fireballs cause you keep jumping over it, don’t do anything on the way down and jump when he throws the next one.
it’s a good idea to stop jumping and play the standard fireball way sometimes. because sagat is good at getting in closer than what is comfortable during fireball wars. he can always fast tiger, and then dash in to close distance and fireball again.
but the reason jumping and hurricane kick is better than your normal fireball war is that you’re gaining more meter than sagat is. hurricane kick gains meter faster than fireball. sagat will not like this.
it’s not good to STAY in a fireball war with sagat though. because sagat will eventually win it. he’s the one waiting for YOU to make the mistake. his fireballs are just too fast. and he has ways to close distance on you.
after you land from a hurricane kick, you can always mix it up and throw a fireball of your own. you don’t have to follow my flow chart. it’s actually BETTER to mix it up imo.
so what you wanna do is to try get some damage on him, but how do you do that? well, ryu lands most his damage up close, but it’s hellla hard to get in close, there’s a trick to it. what you do is inch in close, duck under high tigers, walk in and then BLOCK low tigers or anything he has to throw at you, keep pushing him back, your best poke right now is c.mk. c.mk lowers your hitbox to duck under his tiger knee. so keep inching in and using c.mk as your poke, it’ll beat most of sagat’s pokes and if he tiger knee’s, you’ll duck it and you get a free throw attempt(sagat can break it, but maybe he won’t :-)), you can also DP --> FADC, sometimes you’ll catch sagat pressin buttons after you ducked under his tiger knee. and you’ll hit him with DP. ok, now if this sagat is scrubby as hell and while you are inching in at him and he keeps throwing tigers at you to keep you back, just jump in. fuck it. good sagat players will be afraid to tiger you once you close a certain distance on him.
whatever you do, do NOT jump in on sagat to close distance, he will DP or s.hk you everytime, the only time you should ever jump is if you know his fireball patterns and you jump over his fireball. if you do, hit him with j.hp, st.fp/c.fp, dp. btw, you can’t jump over his tiger shots on reaction, you’ll get dp’ed everytime. so like i said, you HAVE to just KNOW when he’s gonna throw a fireball to even consider jumping in on him.
but keep inchin in, c.mk xx fireball is your best friend right now. the whole thing about inching in is that you have to be prepared to DP a jump-in EVERYTIME. watch for it, don’t let him jump in on you, it’s the only guaranteed free damage in this game(of course i don’t include like laggy moves). once you get him to the corner, KEEP him there, he has no good way to get out(except for maybe ex tigerknee but watch for that as well). you should stay at about jumping distance. if he jumps, dp, if he doesn’t, fireball. walk in, poke with c.mk xx fireball. toss out occassional ex fireball or whiff punish c.mk xx ex fireball, if you SEE that it’s gonna connect and you have ultra. do ultra.
now if he jumps over your random ex fireball on reaction or even a lil early, you can easily DP him. ex fireball recovers so fast. however if he jumps over your regular fireball, he’s most likely going to combo you, that’s why you should wait and chill on throwing fireballs. and make him think about what he should do, make him afraid of your pokes/walk speed and DP if he tries to jump.
now sagat players have certain patterns they follow, just like any other character. like after a blocked tiger knee. sagat can get c.lp xx fireball for free. but what some of you don’t know is there is a gap between c.lp and the fireball where you can reversal dp --> FADC --> ULTRA. if you KNOW your opponents sagat’s patterns, you can take advantage of this. but the sagat player i play against baits it nowadays and mixes it up.
so, let’s assume you have ultra, now what? sagat players start getting scared of fireball wars. you should try to distance yourself about little more than mid screen distance but if he throws a fireball, you can FADC through it, buffer your ultra, if he throws another fireball, press PPP. if he doesn’t, chill out and throw your own fireball or somethin.
if you throw a fireball and it meets his at the middle, dash in after that, buffer your ultra, if he throws another one, ultra. if not, throw a fireball, push him back to the corner if possible.
sagat cannot cross ryu up either. if he throws you or knocks you down and attempt a crossup, do ryu’s anti crossup dp. basically, you do the dp motion the regular way, and press P a little late and if you did it right, ryu will turn around and DP and hit a crossup sagat. this works on almost every character, i can’t get it to work against blanka’s crossup though. but if you have FADC and ultra, you get a free ultra after his attempted crossup. most players don’t expect you to know how to do this or just forget.
btw, in all my character matchups, i don’t like to include what to do once you knock him down, you should have your own stuff. your mixups or things that you like to do after a knockdown.
but that’s generally how i handle sagat. the rest of his matchup is knowing your opponent and how he plays. but this is what works best for me.
the whole part about not jumping in on sagat only applies to sagat’s that actually DP you. if you’re playing against someone who can’t dp everytime, abuse it. play against the player, not the character.