So...we're just not gonna talk about Sean? (Sean guide)

sean

#1

As someone who has been maining Sean since 2006, and someone who (as of this writing) is 5th overall on PSN with Sean, I feel I’m at least a little bit qualified to talk about Sean since there doesn’t seem to be much easily accessible (or particularly good) information about him, and there certainly doesn’t seem to be much info all in one place, which hopefully this guide will put an end to.

Firstly, I must say that the rumors about Sean being the worst character in the game are absolutely true. A true Sean player needs to be very adept at basic game mechanics, especially parrying. Only through playing hundreds or even thousands of matches will someone truly get a feel for exactly how their character moves and feels. Each character dashes differently, tech recovers differently, and has different nuances, Sean players need to be familiar with all of this to truly have an edge, trust me, something this minute might actually be the difference between winning and losing, even against a non-tournament level player. Hopefully I can provide some info that will help you as an aspiring Sean player (or heaven forbid, someone who wants to learn how to defeat Sean) to gain that edge. Below I’ll go over his moves and what strategies can be used, as well as how useful they may or may not be. Keep in mind this is only the opinion of a decent Sean player, and in situations where I quote frame data I may not be exactly correct, but frame data can be checked here: [SIZE=3]http://ensabahnur.free.fr/Baston/index.php?page=gameChars&gameNum=20&gameName=Street%20Fighter%20III%20Third%20Strike[/SIZE]

**Why Sean?: **Ultimately this is a question that each Sean player must answer for him/herself (as if there were any female Sean players…) You must keep in mind that for a game that has been out for 12 years, tier lists are very well established, and Sean is at the bottom of every single one of them for a reason. As a Sean player, you must know that you are at a disadvantage at every turn. For me, this is how I make the game fun. In a video game against a computer opponent, if you want a challenge, you can turn up the difficulty. Against humans, you have to find another way to challenge yourself. I do this by maining Sean. We all know that there are myriads of different mindsets belonging to players and I don’t want this to turn into a discussion about which ones are right or wrong. If you play to win, and you’re using Sean, good luck! You’re going to need it. If you’re playing to have fun, you may find that Sean is possibly the most fun character in 3rd strike. If you play for a long long time, you’ll probably also find that people may respect you for knowing how to win against seemingly insurmountable odds, and also that people will call you a fool for losing with a bad character when you’re clearly good enough to win with a good one. Ultimately the choice to play Sean is yours alone to make and I hope the information below will make it an easier one.

Unwritten Rules: There are a few things true Sean players need to know, most already do, but just in case, I’ll lay them out for you. #1.1) Always use Pink Sean: Sean is the Dan of Street Fighter 3: 3rd Strike, and luckily he has a pink gi (fierce punch) Sean players should ALWAYS pick pink Sean. #1.2) In the rare case that someone picks Sean before you, you should assume they have picked pink Sean so you need to select his second best outfit; Brazil Sean. (this is the “home color” you select by hitting lp+mk+hp at the same time.) If you pick Sean 2nd using fierce punch and someone has already picked pink Sean, you will get Tomato Sean, and nobody wants this to happen. #2) Sean is a baller: Sean’s basketball taunt is one of the best in the game, it’s a crowd favorite, and useful too, but unless you’re in serious, serious tournament play, if you can kill your opponent with the basketball, do it. If however attempting this would get you killed, you don’t have to. #3) Using Sean is not an excuse: Believe me, you will lose, especially if you’re just starting, and you need to be prepared for that mentally. Never under any circumstances say to your opponent “I only lost because I’m Sean.” If you play them well enough your opponent will say this to you. When this happens you get the satisfaction of knowing that they realize you’re a skilled player, even though they won. Eventually through hard work and perseverance, you’ll learn even the toughest matchups and then your opponent will be left with NO excuse. Sean doesn’t get wins because of any gameplay mechanic, he simply cannot get one “cheaply” and he has NO matchups in his favor. He gets wins when you outsmart, outthink, and outperform your opponent, and that means that you can really take pride in every win you get because you know you deserved it, and any opponent worth his salt does too no matter what anyone might say.

Now, onward to the important stuff.

Overall Strategy: Sean’s moves are largely terrible, in order to do any real damage he has to be at point blank range since mostly only the close versions of his normals are good. The only upside to being this close is that you’re basically always in throw range and therefore have built-in mixup. Then again if you’re bad at teching throws, this could be a disadvantage. Sean’s footsies are not very good, he basically only has far standing fierce and low forward/roundhouse as decent footsie options from about a character length away, which is where most other characters will try to keep you. Sean has a lot of options from long range however and has potentially one of the best mixup games from distance of any character. The only problem is that any savvy opponent will be able to react to what you do, so being unpredictable is an absolute must if you want to get wins, especially in a long set of matches, or a tournament. Sean players absolutely have to make use of his mixup options despite the fact that with this comes a lot of risk, he just has so few safe options that taking calculated risks is unavoidable. Sean is best up close pressing his advantage (when he can get it) or at full screen making his opponents guess. Sean gets very, very few opportunities to dictate the flow of the match, so you should take them whenever you can, and you’re going to need to be smart with your parries and throws, because without them Sean will never beat a half-competent player. I will talk matchups and advanced strategies later, for now lets go over his normals (you can skip this if you’re more interested in the other stuff though, but some strategies are sprinkled in when talking about certain moves.)

Link to Urien Matchup

[details=Spoiler]…As soon as I figure out how to link to a particular post…
Does anyone who knows how to do that want to PM me?
Here’s the thread in the mean time Sean’s (terrible) Matchups [/details]


#2

{{Note}} I decided to break this up into sections so it wouldn’t be just one giant wall of text, so you could skip around if need be. I will probably be editing these posts if any new info comes along or if I need to make corrections.

Standing Normals: As mentioned above, pretty much only the “close” versions of Sean’s standing normals are any good, and lack of good zoning at just outside of close range is his largest handicap. His standing kicks in particular are mostly useless. On the whole his startup frames and priority are worse than most characters, so it’s an uphill battle from “Round 1 Fight.”

Standing Jab: This move is the fastest normal Sean has, (3 frames) but it has terrible range (like most jabs,) and can be ducked as well as low parried. You can however cancel from it and hit confirm into any of his supers off two standing jabs (this is difficult though.) Because the move is so fast there isn’t too much risk in throwing it out randomly as a footsie against characters who love to be in your face such as Makoto, Yun,Yang or Ibuki.

Far Standing Strong: This move is almost completely useless. It has only a little bit more range and priority than standing jab (i.e. hardly any) and can’t be low parried (but still can be ducked.) If you can land this move, you can land a myriad of better ones too. The only time I hit anyone with it is when I misjudge my distance for a close medium and get lucky.

Close Standing Strong: This is one of Sean’s best moves, it’s cancelable into specials/supers and is the first hit of his target combo which is cl.mp ~ hk. This is a great option for a meaty on your opponent’s wakeup. If connected you can easily do the target combo, or cancel to super. Basically this move’s best use is in starting his target combo, which I’ll talk about later.

Far Standing Fierce: This is probably Sean’s best poke, and one of the his best moves overall. It’s great for footsies since it has a deceptively long range and can easily hit opponents out of moves from distance such as tatsumakis. It’s also a great move to use when starting the match as a lot of players put a move on the screen right away attempting to footsie you, far+hp will stuff most of those. Whats more, it’s a fierce so it does good damage and stun. Look to counter-poke with this move, and/or assert your zoning game. Use this move to make sure your opponent knows they can’t just go wherever they want, and don’t be afraid to use it often. One caution though, if blocked it’s minus frames, though usually you’re too far away and opponents either can’t or don’t know how to punish it.

Close Standing Fierce: This is another essential move for Sean (like all of his close moves.) The best thing about close fierce is that you can cancel it into any of his specials, and since most of his specials are zoning/pressure tools, this is a must. Additionally this is one of the most damaging normals Sean has, and ties some of his other normals for the most stun. This, like close medium, is a great option for a meaty. The move is unsafe on block, BUT since you can cancel it, that rarely comes into play. There is another essential Sean trick that you can do with close fierce, and that is to cancel it into toward+fierce, and this can be done on hit or block, and you will be surprised how often this hits. If both hit by the way, the amount of stun is phenomenal. It won’t combo, but essentially the toward+fierce will begin hitting your opponent as soon as they’re coming out of blockstun, meaning they hardly have time to react (they could still parry or reversal, but I rarely ever see this happen.) The frame data indicates that this is not safe on block, but it really feels like it is and I can’t recall ever being punished for it. Basically, doing the cl.fp~t+fp “chain” is much safer than just doing a cl.fp by itself, and most importantly, it keeps pressure on your opponent, something that Sean arguably has to do to stand a chance. Another property of cl.fp is that it is an anti-air for characters who are extremely close, though I wouldn’t rely on this, much preferring to use cr.fp for this purpose.

Towards + Fierce: This is a very slow, but decent ranged two-hit overhead. The damage and stun are very good, but this move by itself has limited uses. It’s best to use it with cl.fp as mentioned above, but since this is an overhead and mixup is absolutely essential to winning with Sean this move is still very important. Some standalone uses include: Against a very defensive opponent, you could do this on their wakeup, and probably hit them (especially if you haven’t done it the entire match.) A lot of Street Fighter players (especially people who aren’t very used to 3s in particular) get stuck in this “the safest thing to do is wakeup crouch blocking” mindset and t+fp on their wakeup will usually hit those players for free. Use this as one of many mixup options off a taunt setup, even if your opponent parries the ball, AND the follow up hit, this two-hit move can catch them off guard easily. This move is so slow I would not advise just doing it naked, the only scenario in which that might work is at extreme range against an opponent throwing out brainless footsies, but in this situation, far fp and arguably tornado kick are better.

Standing Short: With the exception of Close Roundhouse, Sean’s standing kicks are pretty terrible. For a light kick this move is slow and can’t be used to cancel or combo (unless it’s the last hit of a jab jab short combo which is like 12 damage, yay.) It can also be parried low. I think I probably use this move once every 200 matches, and it’s probably when it accidentally comes out instead of throw. Practically useless.

Standing Forward: This is a weird move that can also be low-parried, it’s pretty slow, and rarely useful. It has a weird property where it moves Sean forward slightly as the attack happens, and then forward a lot more after it’s finished being active. Basically this is a normal that puts you closer to your opponent while you’re in vulnerable recovery frames…which is more proof that Capcom hates Sean. The one thing I will say about it in it’s defense it that it’s OK as a mid-range poke, and can be used to keep pressure after certain strings such as the cl.fp~t+fp string, or the cl.mp~hk target combo, but use sparingly. (EDIT: The more I’m testing punishment in certain matchups, the more I’m finding this to be one of the only guaranteed punishers Sean has. It’s 5 frames, and hits from range, it leaves you at a slight disadvantage (-1) on hit, and you don’t really get any good setups or anything for hitting with it, but as Shin Oni said below, it can psychicly stuff other characters lows. I may have to use it more often.)

Far Standing Roundhouse: This might be the worst non-jumping normal in the entire game. Theoretically it’s an anti-air, which is pretty true, because it whiffs on some characters like Yun, Yang & Makoto while they’re STANDING. (It is possible to hit them, but only at a very exact range that you’ll never be in nor will you want to be.) Far roundhouse literally has worse range than standing strong, which, if you’ll recall, is so bad I said to never use it. Now, far roundhouse is ok if you’re catching your opponent jumping AWAY from you…but I haven’t played very many people who are so scared of Sean they feel the need to jump backwards when already at point blank range…It does good damage and stun if you manage to hit with it, but you won’t. This move is probably the reason that I’ve lost more matches than I care to think about. Close Roundhouse is so good that you’ll find yourself accidentally in that magic zone where you’re not “close” so far roundhouse will come out, but you’re also magically not “close enough” so it will whiff. So basically you’ll whiff this in just outside of throw range, and unless you’re playing a third grader, get punished for it. If you’re really gonna main Sean, you’re just gonna have to learn to live with this awful move and try to make sure you never see it.

Close Standing Roundhouse: Perhaps in an attempt to atone for f+hk, cl.hk is one of the best normals in the entire game, and certainly the best normal Sean has. It does the most damage of any of his normals, has great stun, can be canceled, is only 5 frames and safe on block. Oh, did I mention it’s an awesome meaty as well? In fact, this move has the exact same frames as cl.mp, except it’s safer, and gives you more advantage on hit, making it EASIER to confirm from. You need to use this move whenever possible, period.

Towards + Roundhouse: This is a slow move, but has the most range of any of Sean’s normals, as such it’s a great poke, and zoning tool. It also makes Sean airborne meaning certain lows will whiff under it, and if timed right can be used to cross-up an opponent who’s currently laying on the ground or doing a low. Additionally it knocks back like a beast, and when your opponent lands from being hit by this mid-screen, they just happen to be at the perfect range to get hit by a fierce Sean Tackle as they land if executed as soon as you recover. This catches more people than you might think as most people don’t expect Sean to be a threat from almost full screen. Use against characters at range who want to get close like Hugo and Urien.


#3

Crouching: As far as I remember, Sean’s crouching moves have the same animations as the other three shotos (Ken, Ryu, Akuma) and only very minor differences in frames so they’re actually pretty good, and you will find yourself using them, possibly more than his standing moves. This also means you can easily give your opponent the opportunity to guess right and low parry you, so you’ll need to mix in universal overheads just to avoid being predictable. All of Sean’s crouching moves except roundhouse can be canceled into specials/supers so they’re great for pressure, and typically have more range than his standing moves so are important for zoning too.

Crouching Jab: Sean’s fastest crouching move (4 frames,) so you’ll want to use it whenever you need to punish anything with a very small window, or when you’re not sure if you can punish. It’s safe on block so it’s ok to test the water with it. You can throw another low jab, or short in there so don’t worry, you can confirm to super that way. In situations where you know you will hit (like after a parry) c.lp ~ dragon smash ~ super is a great punish.

Crouching Strong: This move has about the same animation and range as crouching jab, and it’s slower which makes it not very useful, though it is active for 1 more frame so sometimes it stuffs things. You also have more advantage on hit with which to confirm, though dragon smash will whiff and shoryu-cannon will only combo at point blank range so basically confirm into hado burst or hyper tornado from this. Also keep in mind that all of Sean’s crouching punches can be high parried, so usually kicks are a better idea. All in all, this move isn’t necessary, but I do believe it’s the best move to whiff to intentionally build meter so there is that.

Crouching Fierce: Sort of a weird move, this is an anti-air with virtually no forward hitbox so it basically only hits above Sean. It does high damage and stun and if you hit your opponent out of the air (which you usually will when using this) it forces a “reset” animation to happen to them, and you can sweep them (or low forward them) as they land (good players know this though so be careful.) This move also stuffs plenty of moves so sometimes it’s a good idea to use it as a footsie, you’ll be surprised at how far away you’ll hit your opponent with a move that basically whiffs at point blank and so will they if you end up stuffing something they were attempting to zone with. For a fierce it’s fast (7 frames, same as low forward) so you can afford to test the water with it occasionally if locked in a tight ground war. Don’t be afraid to cancel any of Sean’s lows into any of his specials (except tornado kick) for pressure on block to make them safer too.

Crouching Short: Basically the same as other shoto’s crouching shorts with surprising long range (for a light), the good 'ol short short super works with Sean too. You can also connect cr.short ~ cr.jab ~ cr.short ~ super, but this doesn’t work with Shoryu-Cannon, only his other two supers. A good move to be sure.

Crouching Forward: If you’ve ever played as or against Ken, Ryu, or Akuma you know how good this move is. The best low poke Sean has, and his best punisher from range. And (like all his lows) can be canceled into his specials/supers and you shouldn’t be afraid to do that when possible. Look to use this as a footsie to keep your opponent at range, or punish them for whiffing things at what they thought was a safe distance. If you connect, look to super (if you can) or cancel into a Sean tackle or wheel kick to keep pressure if you feel it’s prudent.

Crouching Roundhouse: The basic shoto sweep, good range, slow move, good damage. Technically Sean’s is 1 frame slower than the other shotos, but this doesn’t matter. I’m not going to talk strategy here because if you don’t know when and where to use a sweep you wouldn’t (and shouldn’t) be reading this. Keep in mind like all shoto sweeps in 3s, a blocked sweep at close range can be punished with a sweep of your own, so look for that. Also watch out for the blocked sweep ~ whiffed sweep ~ counter hit sweep tactic whereas someone will throw a sweep that you block at just outside of punishment range, you’ll try to punish and then get punished for whiffing. Of course, you could use this tactic yourself too…

Jumping attacks: Jumping attacks in 3s are, like in every fighter, a pretty big risk, so be careful. In 3s though, you can jump a little more liberally if your parry timing is on point because in other Street Fighters players train themselves to anti-air their opponents for jumping. In 3s you can bait these anti-airs, parry them, and punish with a jump-in combo. This is a VERY risky tactic, but I honestly feel like Sean HAS to do it to win. He simply doesn’t have the tools to get close without occasionally jumping, especially against the best zoners like Chun-Li. Like his lows, Sean’s air attacks are very similar to the other shotos, so they’re not too bad.

Jumping Jab: I nicknamed this move “active elbow” because it seems like this move is in active frames for the entire time you’re in the air (in fact the frame data seems to suggest that it actually is.) There is hardly any difference between the neutral and jump-in versions so I’m not gonna cover that. Unless you just need to do 5 damage, or outprioritize someone in the air, it’s not too useful. BUT you can combo into super off of it, which can be a nasty surprise. (In fact if timed right you can combo into super off any jump-in, but doing it off this move is just so…dirty.)

Jumping Strong: Basically the same animation as jumping fierce. The neutral version is almost exactly the same (meaning it is a neutral with a downward arc) but even so, I never use this.

Jumping Fierce: This is Sean’s most damaging jumping attack, and second most damaging normal. (It’s kinda nasty that you can combo into his best one from this, which is cl.hk) and it does great stun. This is your preferred jump-in, unless you need more range, in which case you may use j.hk. Those two moves are the same speed and are both active for the same amount of time, so there’s very little difference between which hard attack you chose. The neutral version is basically an air-to-air only move, but oddly, does more stun than any of Sean’s other normals.

Jumping Short: Not better than j.lp. Don’t use.

Jumping Forward: Same animation as j.hk, but this move can crossup which j.hk can’t. Unfortunately, it’s not as awesome of a crossup as Ken’s (despite basically being the same move, thanks Capcom.) Unless you’re crossing-up (which is sorta difficult) use j.hk instead. In the neutral version Sean basically sticks his leg straight out, this is actually pretty good for stuffing jump happy opponents especially if they have you pinned in the corner. It can also be used as a “falling” attack where you neutral jump at close range and stick it out once you’ve started descending from the jump, it can hit a standing opponent and put them in some blockstun, and if it hits you can combo.

Jumping Roundhouse: Like all fierces and roundhouses, good damage and stun. This is basically the same as Ken, Ryu, and Akuma’s j.hk so it’s good. j.hp does more damage and stun though, but this one has a bit more range. Neutral jumping roundhouse has an upward arc and is thereby almost completely useless.

Target Combo: Sean’s target combo (cl.mp~hk) is crucial to keeping pressure and is an essential part of his game. If it hits it does roughly the same damage and stun as a throw, if it doesn’t hit, it pushes you back to a safe distance and you’re at a small frame advantage. The risk/reward on Sean’s target combo is practically the only move he has where the risk is basically non-existant. It’s a fast punisher, and it’s safe if blocked, and whether hit or blocked the situation it causes is pretty much the same. If you want to continue pressue after a target combo, you can sean grab, or wheel kick, or a s.mk or a cr.mk. Because you’re at a slight frame advantage, and also at that juicy extreme range for a shoto low forward, it’s also low-parry bait because most opponents have no idea it’s safe and will try to punish you if they block it. Some nuances though, if the first hit is parried, it can be interrupted, and if you hit certain characters while crouching with the cl.mp, (Yun, Yang) the hk will whiff despite the fact that the mp hit, which is honestly just ridiculous. Even more ridiculous is that on other characters (Chun-Li, Makoto, and Ibuki) the hk will whiff only at a certain range…and when you consider this move is started with a “close” and that Chun and Makoto are already at huge advantages over Sean, that’s hard to swallow, but be aware of it.

**Throws: **Sean’s throw has a decent range (better than some characters) and does ok damage (20 on Ryu.) Everyone’s throw in 3s is the same speed (2 frames) and is therefore the fastest move by default that any character has (aside from some supers.) Chun is the only character with a grounded 2 frame normal (s.jab) I think a throw will beat it if they trade, but don’t quote me. You will need to throw your opponent A LOT in order to win because you need to condition your opponent to try to tech so that you can occasionally slip in for some actual damage. 3rd Strike’s essential meta game goes like this: attacks beat throws (most of the time) ~ parries beat attacks ~ throws beat parries. Throws are also very fast and obviously executed at close range. Since Sean’s best normals are also at throw range, this works in his favor as far as allowing you mixup potential, use it wisely.

Kara Throw: Sean has a kara throw (far+hp+throw) but the range boost on it is so minimal that it’s basically not useful, but you don’t have to take my word for it, try it for yourself.

Universal Overhead: Despite every UOH only doing 5 damage, it’s a very important part of everyone’s game, including Sean’s. UOHs have different properties depending upon the exact positioning of the characters when they hit, whether they hit crouching or on counter hit, etc. which makes pinpointing exact strategies for them difficult. Their most important application is mixup. UOHs provide you with a move that can be done from crouching that beats lows, low-parries, and throws, so you should be very aware of when your opponent has been conditioned to look for those three things and do a UOH instead. It’s true that they can be parried on reaction, but the timing for this is strict and chances are your opponent won’t be looking for a high parry if you’re crouching in front of them, unless you give them a reason to. UOHs are important to Sean’s game too because they allow him to stay close to his opponent whereas getting a string of moves blocked would put him at that unfavorable 1 character length away. Even though the damage is largely worthless, this is a crucial mixup tool and I suggest you learn to use it. Additionally, under the perfect ranges and circumstances, Sean can link Hyper Tornado off a UOH, which should put some fear into the opponents who know that. (This is technically possible for his other two supers, but the conditions are so strict I don’t really know surefire ways to make it work, if anyone could enlighten me, I’d be much obliged!)


#4

Specials: Sean’s specials are largely trash, and only good for pressure/zoning rather than damage but you are going to need to know how to use them so pay attention.

Sean Roll (QCB+P): Sean roll is only good for throwing your opponent off guard and staying close to them. I suppose you could roll under hadokens as well, but then again, you can just parry them too. It’s often a good idea to cancel a blocked normal into this for a few reasons. One so you stay close or crossup your opponent, and two so that any “high” normal they put on the screen in an attempt to punish will just whiff entirely. Sean roll has (I believe) 2 frames of invincibility on startup so it can get you out of trouble if you’re psychic and obviously if done at close range swaps positions with your opponent. Any low still active after 2 frames will hit you though so don’t get cocky. You should pretty much only use the jab and strong versions as the move is terribly unsafe and the fierce version is on the screen for waaaaay too long. Honestly the most common thing is to do something like cr.lp ~ lp sean roll ~ throw because pretty much anything else gives your opponent too much time to react and reversal you. Dash-in lp Sean roll is a decent tactic too because it baits out an attack and if timed right you use the invincibility frames to roll under it and cause whatever your opponent did to whiff.

Ryuubi Kyaku (Wheel Kick) (QCF+K): A pretty slow overhead attack, and decent anti-air. Can beat people who like to jump-in (or who like to neutral jump at less than full screen.) The roundhouse version covers most of the screen so it can be a bane to characters who like to be in the air like Akuma, Ibuki and Twelve. It’s technically unsafe on block, (-3 ) but the pushback is usually enough so that it can’t be punished with a regular throw, but this is situational. As such it’s decent parry bait, and you can also just walk forward throw as soon as you land and this works a lot. The recovery on whiff is pretty fast but be careful whiffing too close. It doesn’t do much damage but you take what you can get. The EX version is safer (-1) hits two (or three, sometimes, maybe if it’s counter hit?) times and “homes-in” on your opponent so it’s useful there. The biggest problem with this move is that it’s slow and pretty much everybody can parry it easily. Sean players also have a negative tendency to use this as the only way that they close distance as well, and you will be tempted to do the same. Some people will sit at full screen and bait this because they know unless you EX you’ll be landing somewhere in front of them and they’ll just react appropriately. Unless you are attempting an anti-air, or are doing this move as a mixup while your opponent is in blockstun or recovery, you should probably avoid it. Though sometimes intentionally whiffing an lk or mk version at full screen gets good results, and you always have the option of whoring it out against people who have shown they can’t parry it. This is one of those technically unsafe moves that you’re gonna need to use to stay unpredictable, sort of like Sean’s taunt it takes finesse to use it wisely, but once you learn how, you can make it work to your advantage

Tornado Kick (QCB+K): In a weird way, this is the worst special in the game. Tornado kick does decent damage, and is easily comboed into. But it’s unsafe ON HIT!! Based on tests I’ve done, I’ve calculated that all versions (except EX which I’ll talk about later) are -3 on hit, and it’s even worse on block. This means that every character can throw you for free for hitting them with this, and most can just raw super you. And if they block it, they can literally do whatever they want to you while Sean just sits in recovery like a burn victim. Now, I use this move, because I need to determine if my opponent know this, or whether or not they have 3 frame reaction time (many don’t) but the moment you get punished for using this move STOP, and against a seasoned and experienced player, don’t even think about it. I realize that this is contrary to what you may have seen in other Sean guides elsewhere on the internet, or in match videos, but as someone who’s been maining Sean for 5 years TRUST ME! My best guess is that the guides that recommend tornado kick were made by people who just wanted to put some info on the internet and went into practice mode with Sean for 3 hours and realized it did decent damage and was easy to combo into, not by someone who lost hundreds of matches over the years because they foolishly did this move like I have. Its true that the move is easy to combo into, and pressures your opponent, but tornado kick should almost never be used, and if you do use it, you’d better be willing to eat big damage, simply put the risk/reward is so bad you can’t use this in serious play. So now that you’ve officially been warned, I’m going to elaborate on exactly how and where tornado kick is useful and what strategies you can use it for. It can be ok to whiff a tornado kick from distance, usually lk because it’s fastest, especially if you’re going to recover reasonably close to your opponent, this can cause them to either whiff an attempted reversal, or maybe they’ll just block because they expect a longer version of the move. If they just block, this frees you up to run mixup on them, and if you get lucky, you might get a psychic anti-air if they just so happen to jump at you. This brings me to point #2, tornado kick is reasonably quick for a special, and most importantly moves Sean forward quickly, because of this tornado kick is a decent anti-air against an opponent either starting or ending a jump at mid-range. If they’re at point blank you’ve got tons of better options though so you can use this as sort of a “I think you’re going to jump” footsie, but I would recommend only doing this rarely of if your opponent is insanely predictable. You can easily combo into tornado kick off of cr.lk, cr.mk, cl.hp and cl.hk, but, as I mentioned only do this if your opponent isn’t punishing it OR if it will kill or stun them. Since tornado kick hits multiple times, and covers distance quickly, it is also good for chipping out your opponent (don’t be afraid to do this, a win from chip is still a win, and since parries exist, it’s their own fault if they lose.) This works fairly well from mid range because if you’re smart you haven’t been doing this move so they won’t expect it, and in cases where they get a lucky parry, the multiple hits might throw them off. EX is the best for this, but hk is 2nd best because it hits more times. EX tornado kick is slightly different. It’s actually safe on hit, 0 frames if I’ve calculated correctly, but this still doesn’t save you which I’ll explain in a moment. It does do the most damage and has the quickest startup (9 frames, same as far fierce) it can also be easily comboed into from cl.hk for big damage. In fact Sean’s most damaging combo without a super is j.hp ~ cl.hk ~ EX tornado kick, this does more damage than a raw Shoryu-Cannon, and a TON of stun. Substituting mk tornado kick instead of EX is the best option if you have no meter at all, but only do this if it will kill or stun your opponent, if you’re SURE they won’t punish you for it, or if you just have that much more life than them and don’t care about getting hit. Now, even though EX tornado kick is safe on hit (0 frames) you’re still in trouble and here’s why. Most opponents know that tk isn’t safe and on hit it leaves you right next to your opponent, a smart opponent will put the fastest move they have on the screen as soon as they finish getting hit in order to maximize their chances, for most characters this is either a super or reversal (which will beat you if you do anything other than block or parry) but it’s far far easier and instinctive to just do a 2 frame throw. Basically, and I’ll talk about this in the advanced strategy section below, if you hit with a tk, you should put a throw on the screen immediately after it hits basically just hoping for a tech (but even this can get you hit by reversals and supers so you can see how truly bad this move is.)

Sean Tackle (HCF+P Hold P): Sean tackle is terribly unsafe during execution, but it’s probably Sean’s most useful special. The fact that you can use it to cover ground very quickly without dashing or jumping and the fact that you can do empty Sean tackles vs. ones that hit gives it great mixup potential, and mixup is basically the only way Sean gets wins. Smart opponents will try to footsie it with lows, but I’ve found that even good opponents get caught off guard by this and the amount of mixup you get from this move is great. Firstly, you can choose how far to go depending on the punch you use, so you’d be surprised how often an empty Sean tackle from full screen gets people to whiff, and remember the EX version is really fast and hits from full screen (if your opponent is in the corner or in blockstun) and I find opponents often forget Sean can actually do that. You can use this to scoot under jump-ins, causing crossup attempts to whiff, or under neutral jumps to crossup your opponent yourself. Canceling a normal into empty lp Sean tackle ~ throw is something you need to learn how to do because even though it’s telegraphed, it works all day, and if they start teching or reversaling it, just do empty sean tackle ~ parry, or empty sean tackle ~ dragon smash, or empty sean tackle ~ sean roll or empty sean tackle ~ super (not hado burst tho) and once all that gets in their head, non-empty sean tackle. Basically, if you put this move on the screen your opponent has NO WAY to know what you’re going to do because you can literally do whatever you want. Unless they get smart and hit you during this move’s active frames (and if you’re smart you’re starting this off a blocked normal while they’re still in blockstun minimizing their time frame for punishing it) this mixup tool will give people a reason to be worried, which is something Sean has a really hard time doing. It’s also possible to meaty with this move if you learn the timing. My best advice is to use empty versions somewhat frequently from far away just to close distance safely, try to hit with empty sean tackle ~ throw setups, and then when you feel like you’ve conditioned your opponent, actually hit them with it, it does decent damage and stun, and the EX version does great damage. Oh, and you can combo into this off a taunt :P. If you plan on pushing the advantage or playing rushdown, learning this move’s nuances is a must.

Dragon Smash (DP+P): Sean’s dragon punch. This move is soooooo bad. Unlike every other dragon punch this move has basically no forward hitbox, so it only hits people ABOVE you, and even then it whiffs sometimes. Most instances where you feel like you should be able to cancel into it, it will whiff and you’ll get punished. Obviously this move’s only real use is an anti-air, and certain times you can throw it into a combo (like lp ~ dragon smash ~ super or cl.hp ~ dragon smash ~ super, but be careful with this one cause if your execution is off you’ll get t+hp instead of the dragon smash…oh and it won’t combo off of cl.hk (EDIT: It will on some characters, check character specific info for that) cause heaven forbid Sean be able to do decent damage without putting himself at huge negative frames like say, most of the characters in the game…) The EX version is fast though, and it’s Sean’s proper reversal, if I’m not mistaken it does have at least 1 frame of invincibility, I have seen it get beat in a reversal scenario, but only very, very rarely and that was probably due to my timing being slightly off. Oh and be careful of characters who have moves that can cause them to magically quantum slide forward on your wakeup, that can sometimes cross-under your reversal. Chun-Li can do this with a standing fierce or standing mk I believe if timed perfectly (because, you know, she needs that option) then you whiff in their face and die. If you have to, you can cancel to super from an EX dragon smash after the first hit, but this does less damage than just a raw super, but if it gets you the win, who cares?


#5

Supers: Sean is one of the few characters with no clearly defined “best” super, though most people will tell you it’s Hyper Tornado, I disagree, I think all of his supers are good and I’ll lay out some specifics below. Honestly though, none of them are terrible, so which one you use is up to you and you may actually switch which one you want based on which character you’re facing.

Hado Burst: 3 stocks, short meter, low damage and 1 parry. This super isn’t great but it does allow you to confirm off of very fast lows (cr.lk ~ cr.lp ~ cr.lk ideally, or alternatively cr.lk ~ cr.lk, or cr.lp ~ cr.lp.) I actually think this is probably his worst super, but that doesn’t make it useless. Here are the cons: 3 frame startup, you can get hit/thrown out of it, it can’t be used as a reversal for this reason. It does very small damage (32 on Ryu) for a super, but then again you get three of them so that may cancel itself out. It’s not good as an anti-air since the timing to hit someone jumping-in is very strict, and they can parry it easily (hyper tornado is 1 parry too however.) Yes you can combo into it from full screen off a taunt, or super through a fireball, which is how you style on fools, but this should never hit a good opponent. Pros: It can be canceled/confirmed from c.mp and c.mk at any range unlike Shoryu-Cannon which has to be really close. As I mentioned, it eats through 1 hit fireballs, which means you can punish idiots with it. It’s really fast can hit from full screen which means it’s a great punish if your opponent likes to whiff moves to build meter or dash all the time. You get a lot of EX meter, which IMO Sean needs badly.

Shoryu-Cannon: 2 stocks, sorta long meter, ok damage and short range. There are negatives to Shoryu-Cannon, but I think few people have seen it’s true potential so a lot of people don’t know what makes it good. Firstly, you get 2 stocks which is important and gives Sean EX meter frequently, which is crucial since basically only the EX versions of his specials are good. Here are the cons: Very short range, certain moves which for his other supers are instant confirms aren’t with Shoryu-Cannon, it will sometimes whiff off of cr.short, cr.jab, cr.forward and cr.strong. Even though you can super someone off a mid-air reset, you have to do it VERY quickly or they’ll land in time to block. It’s damage is better than Hado Burst, but it’s no Hyper Tornado. Pros: Sean’s best anti-air super, though if you hit late only a few hits will connect, still better than a total whiff. The following is the best thing about it IMO and the reason I use it. It has startup invincibility, which not many supers in 3s actually do. This means that this is Sean’s absolute desperation attempt super, while “wake-up super” is a scrubby tactic, if your super has invincibility, it’s actually a better idea than wake-up super usually is. Plus it can beat things like fireballs, EX moves your opponent does on your wakeup to chip you out, and even aegis reflector if timed perfectly. It’s a multi-hit super that’s at least moderately difficult to parry (unlike his other two supers which are just 1 hit) and since you mash out the second half of the hits, if someone starts to parry it, mashing will require them to parry more times, and you’ll almost always still catch them (this is a trick I feel like nobody knows btw.) The move raw hits 14 times, but to parry it I believe it’s 2, then a short break, then 6, but if you mash, they’ll have to parry more than 6 in the second half. Seananigans at work. Additionally it’s the only super that hits more than once on block, meaning it’s the only real option for chipping your opponent out. Another bonus that comes with this super is that you can reset your opponent if you hit them in the corner, the damage scaling makes any hits minimal (especially if you cancel into another Shoryu-Cannon, which you can do) but this does allow Sean to keep pressuring in the corner and that’s a plus in my book.

Hyper Tornado: 1 stock, long meter, fast, great damage and hits from about hp Sean tackle distance. This is Sean’s best super if you are an absolute ace at hit confirming because it does insane damage (61 raw on Ryu, which means it can be easily comboed into for over 80, roughly around the half-life mark for most characters, and beyond for some.) I personally don’t use it because I like the nuances of Shoryu-Cannon better, but make no mistake, this super is great. Cons: 1 stock means that you have minimal access to EX moves and Sean needs them IMO. All Sean’s supers are unsafe on block, but three-toed sloths could appropriately punish you for this one, you better believe if it’s blocked or parried, you’re eating full damage. Speaking of which, this super is only 1 parry, which can be high, or low, so like I said, you’d better be an ace at hit confirms. Also, this is the easiest of Sean’s supers to be jumped over, as it hits fairly low to the ground, and if you do anti-air with it raw, barely any of it will hit causing low damage, so once again, hit confirm. Pros: I’ve already talked about the damage, which is it’s best quality by far, but another pro is that this super has decent range. Part of the mindgames of any fighter are when and how opponents are conditioned to expect certain moves and pretty much everyone is conditioned to fear Shoryu-Cannon type supers only up close or on wakeup, and people only fear projectiles (super or otherwise) at full screen (whether or not they should isn’t the issue, it’s the fact that they do that we’re talking about.) Hyper Tornado should be feared everywhere, and that makes it useful. It’s also got a 2 frame startup with invincibility so it can’t be interrupted on startup (at least I’ve never seen this happen, and couldn’t force it when testing) and this essentially makes it a great reversal. Another thing to note is that even though it can be high parried, it essentially hits low, which means when parried or blocked any “high” attack will whiff, but this probably won’t buy you enough time to recover safely. Additionally, this super is somewhat easier to link off of a UOH, giving Sean an option that so many other characters have, the ability to confirm off an overhead. This is technically possible with his other two supers but only with incredibly specific spacing and situations that are difficult to judge, or force your opponent into. This, aside from damage IMO, is the best argument for using Hyper Tornado. Hyper Tornado is also Sean’s only super that does decent stun damage, so keep that in mind too.

Taunt: Don’t think of Sean’s taunt as a taunt, think of it as one of his best tools. Firstly I must caution that you should only be using Sean’s taunt against opponents who are absolutely free (in which case, use it like it is a taunt) or against someone who you’ve just knocked down in order to create a mixup opportunity for you. Don’t put in on the screen when you have a fully awake and competent player sitting there, because most characters can easily punish your for doing this, even at full screen. Use it to create pressure on an opponent you’ve knocked down. Just like Dudley’s rose, most people waking up to a Harlem Globetrotter souvenir in their face will not have any idea what to do besides block or parry, and both of these things can easily get them hurt. Assuming you’ve timed it right and the ball will collide with their wakeup frames, you can literally do pretty much anything you want, sean grab, wheel kick, t+hp, regular meaty wakeup, low forward, throw, super, t+hk, parry, even doing nothing is a mixup option if you expect them to reversal (most reversals kill the ball completely.) Hopefully you’ve gotten a read on your opponent somewhat throughout the match and you know what their wakeup tendencies are. A smart opponent will not attempt to parry the ball (since that leaves them vulnerable to getting hit by a low like cr.mk or sean grab, which will combo off the ball btw) but opponents crouch blocking are vulnerable to t+hp and wheel kicks (even EX wheel kicks at full screen.) Yes, they COULD multi-hit parry, but unless your opponent shows you they are adept at stuff like this, you can probably assume they won’t. Experiment with this and try different wakeup options, heck this is one of the few scenarios where I feel even tornado kick is OK cheifly for two reasons; one, it can hit your opponent out of the air if your ball timing was off and they jumped or did a reversal that leaves them in the air, and two it covers a lot of distance quickly and theoretically you haven’t been doing tornado kick so they will almost assuredly not expect it. This also forces them to quickly react to a multi-hit parry if they’ve decided to parry the ball, and many times even if they parry the ball, they won’t get the follow up tornado kick. Most importantly though you must remember not to be predictable. If you do taunt ~ sean grab from full screen every time, you WILL get punished for it eventually. Another not about the taunt ~ throw mixup is that you cannot throw anyone in blockstun, or hitstun so if they block or get hit by the ball you’re going to have to stagger your throw in order for it to work (if they parry it, go for it.) Taunt ~ empty sean grab ~ throw is often a better option, but remember to keep it fresh and don’t stay predictable, putting a taunt on the screen after you’ve knocked your opponent down is one of the only ways for Sean to keep the ball in his court (ironically) and dictate the flow of the match, which is very crucial to winning. Oh and don’t forget that taunt does 1 damage if it hits, or is blocked, so make judicial use of unwritten rule #2 when possible.


#6

I endorse this thread 500 percent. Pink Sean swag. Very good guide. As a Sean player myself I found a lot of this information very useful. Another thing I’ve noticed since OE came out is that many people don’t know the Sean match up. I faced quite a few great players that know alll my tricks and mix ups with Ibuki or Ken but are free as fuck to Sean. They can’t handle the pink gi and basketball swag.


#7

oh my god.


#8

Situational Strategies: Below are some overall strategies for dealing with general tactics, and situations. I’ll go into character matchups later.

Opponent turtling you, keeping you at full screen: Certain characters are more prone to this than others, and if your opponent has Godlike reaction time, this strategy can seem unbeatable. This is where your unpredictability can be an asset. Do things like whiff lk wheel kicks and sean grabs to be able to close distance without dashing or jumping. Doing this also trains your opponent to think that you believe unsafe moves are an option which might “open them up” so to speak. Be mindful of your opponents long range options. If they can super you for whiffing either of those moves, be aware that it’s an option and try to bait it out or parry it. Mix up doing whiffed moves with ones that will actually hit them. Throw the ball and be ready to do an empty sean grab or EX sean grab. Mix up jumping-in and super jumping-in, be ready to parry their anti-air attempts, and even better, be ready to parry the lows they’ll try to get you to land on. If you decide to just build meter like they are, cr.mp is best for this, though a lot of characters who play this way have fireballs which you can parry easily for meter, if they’re stupid enough to throw them at you all day. If your opponent turtles hard, you will have no choice but to parry to beat them, but once you get close, mixing it up with throws is crucial too, and don’t be surprised if turtling players try to throw you often, it gives them ample time to run away again. If you get a life lead and you feel like they’re only comfortable turtling, make them come to you and take the win from time-out. Beware of Sean’s taunt too, even at full screen it’s very unsafe to most characters.

Opponent trying to keep pressure by jumping-in: This is more character specific, but if your opponent is jumping in all the time, or if you catch them doing UOH’s, you’ll want to parry their attacks. Chances are they aren’t jumping-in without a plan to put you in blockstun and reset the situation, therefore blocking might be unwise on your part. If you get an air parry while you’re still grounded, the best thing you can do is immediately Shoryu-Cannon, don’t confirm into it cause any air-hit will put them in reset and often Shoryu-Cannon will miss, though if you anti-air them with Dragon Smash or EX Dragon Smash, it’s easy to confirm. The other two supers aren’t good in this scenario because Hado-Burst needs to be confirmed into to hit for sure and Hyper Tornado only hits about 3 times for tiny damage as an anti-air. If you don’t have meter, target combo or cl.hk followed by a staggered hk wheel kick are good options, and cl.hp and cr.hp will reset them near you in time enough for you to put a sweep (or cr.mk) on the screen that they’ll land on (unless they parry it.)

Opponent trying to keep pressure by dashing-in: As terrible as this sounds, put jabs, crouching jabs and crouching shorts on the screen if this is happening. Characters like Makoto fall victim to this all the time and if you get your timing perfect, you can confirm off of two standing jabs or crouching shorts or crouching jabs. Characters that dash a lot are often looking to throw you, they’re hoping your delayed reaction to their dash will buy them 2 frames, and often they’re right. Smart opponents will do something like s.lk ~ dash-in (or walk up) ~ throw (this is a tactic you can use too.) What this does is put you in blockstun just before the throw attempt minimizing your window to reversal. If you find this working on you, you may start doing UOHs because at least you won’t get thrown out of midair. If you’re playing a dashy opponent and you manage to get them off of you, use your good long range pokes like far+hp to keep them away, or neutral jump and be ready to combo them when they dash into your falling normal. As always be ready for your opponent to change their strategy. The best opponents never play only one way, and you can’t either if you want to beat them.

Highest Damage: Here is a list of what Sean can dish out.

Best meterless damage: Cl.hp ~ Dragon Smash (use lp, it’s faster and they all do the same damage.) cl.hk ~ mk tornado kick does more damage, but is unsafe. cl.hk ~ Dragon smash is more damage, but character specific.
Best damage with EX: Cl.hk ~ EX Tornado Kick
Best damage with Shoryu-Cannon: cl.mp ~ Dragon Smash ~ Shoryu-Cannon (believe it or not this does more damage than cl.hp ~ Dragon Smash ~ SAII, I don’t know why, this is also fairly easy to pull off as punishment.)
Best damage with Hado-Burst: cl.hp ~ Dragon Smash ~ Hado burst (again cl.hk ~ Dragon Smash ~ Hado Burst does more, but is character specific.)
Best damage with Hyper Tornado: cl.hk ~ Hyper Tornado (don’t use Dragon Smash or HT will only hit a few times)
Best meterless jump-in: j.hp ~ cl.hk (same damage as j.hp ~ target combo) once again adding the mk tornado kick does more, but is unsafe. Keep in mind if you have super you can throw it on at the end for HUGE damage (adding Hyper Tornado to the end of this jump in does half-health on Ryu.)
Best EX jump-in: j.hp ~ cl.hk ~ EX Tornado Kick (does more damage than some supers by themselves, and LOTS of stun.)


#9

Advanced Sean: Below I hope to elaborate on a few points that will help you to play smarter with a character who doesn’t have a lot of good or safe options. Some of the time the strategies discussed below are not necessarily safe, but they’re the smartest thing you could be doing given a certain situation, and mastering some of these techniques will hopefully get you more wins than Sean is mathematically supposed to have according to the tier charts.

Be Unpredictable: Aside from Sean’s cl.mp~hk target combo, and a cl.hk, almost none of Sean’s moves are 100% safe on block and some of the ones that are like cl.mp by itself or s.lp or cr.lp can leave you too close to your opponent to be outside of effective throw range or from chip range if they do a special/super after they block. Basically, until you’ve gotten very comfortable with your spacing and the play style of your opponent you don’t want your opponent to block a move that’s going to leave them in a good position to counter attack. Unfortunately, a good position to counter attack if you’re fighting against Sean, is just outside of throw range because most characters have safe or high priority moves that will stop anything you try from that distance. Now I suppose you could spend the entire match only using these few moves and attempting to win that way, but I’d be surprised if most opponents will let you get away with it. In summation, you’re going to have to do unsafe moves if you want to win, the key is not to do them often or at the same time every time. It’s important to remember to be unpredictable when reading the rest of the strategies, I will tell you a few things which can be a good idea, but nothing is a good idea if you do it all the time, every time. Since he has so few safe options, mixup is probably the most important part of Sean’s overall game plan, so remember that.

Cancel Your Normals Into Specials To Keep Pressure and Keep Your Opponent Guessing: This is not something you want to do all the time because Sean’s specials are largely terrible, and unless you know you will hit and kill, chip out, or stun your opponent, never cancel into a non-EX tornado kick (unless your opponent can’t punish it, or unless you are so high on health you simply don’t care, in which case, feel free to destroy them.) The following are Sean’s normals that can be canceled: s.lp, cl.mp, cl.hp, cl.hk, cr.lp, cr.mp, cr.hp, cr.lk, cr.mk. Of those, cl.hp and cr.mk are unsafe if NOT canceled. Remember you can cancel cl.hp into t+hp for a nice overhead mixup that will often catch your opponent off guard and interrupt a lot of their retaliation attempts, but if you do this too much, they’ll figure it out. Another move you should not cancel into is hp Sean Roll, this move is completely useless, but canceling into lp or mp Sean Roll is actually a great way to keep pressure, provided you’re careful. The following moves you can hit or have blocked and cancel into lp Sean Roll (the best one because it’s the fastest) and cross-under your opponent: s.lp, cr.lp, cr.lk, cr.mk (at close range only.) Be aware that if your opponent moves backwards, or if you don’t cancel fast enough, often times lp Sean Roll won’t cross-under in this scenario leaving you vulnerable so be careful (though if you catch your opponent off guard, which you likely will, you can still use this to your advantage.) I prefer not to use mp Sean Roll, even though it will cross-under off of any of Sean’s cancels simply because it is a little too easy to punish in recovery, but if you think your opponent is going to try to hit or throw you right away, mp Sean Roll is ok because they’ll likely whiff on startup due to your invincibility and inability to be hit with highs. You can chose to cancel moves into Wheel Kick, but be aware that hk wheel kick will go over your opponent’s head if they aren’t in the corner of if they aren’t jumping backwards or neutral. This could be used to get away from them, but is pretty unsafe. If you happen to hit your opponent out of the air with cl.hk or the target combo, the knockback will be much further though, and an hk Wheel Kick is a great idea here because most opponents will not expect Sean to be hitting them so soon just after they’ve been knocked almost the whole screen away (EX Sean Grab is a half-decent idea here too.) If you do hit an airborne opponent with a fierce however, DON’T cancel into hk wheel kick, do it as soon as you recover, if you cancel, the wheel kick will collide with them while they’re in the “reset” animation and whiff, and an EX will always whiff if canceled into vs an airborne opponent. Be aware that A LOT of normals will beat the startup frames of wheel kick, so I would be careful doing this against a hyperactive opponent, but it has the opposite properties of Sean Roll/Sean Grab in that lows will whiff so like all of Sean’s specials, mix it up. Sean Roll is a much better idea against opponents who reversal or put high-priority moves on the screen constantly because it will cause them to whiff and hopefully waste meter. Sean Grab is the one awesome special Sean has, good opponents will simply hit you out of it every time however, so if you face someone who does this, change your strategy. The fact that you can do empty Sean grabs vs ones that hit, and the fact that it goes under high attacks makes it pretty awesome though. Use this for pressure and to stay in that very important “close” range Sean needs. Also, I’ve found that doing a cl.hk into an lp Sean Grab on hit is very likely to hit your opponent because they are in hitstun for most of the time the Sean Grab is in startup, especially if you cancel it early. There’s also no real reason not to throw this out on block either, you’re forcing your opponent to react quickly, and hopefully you’ve gotten some kind of read on them so that you know whether they’re likely to block or attack, and if they attack, you can be ready to reversal or parry assuming their timing isn’t perfect and they don’t interrupt you. We’ve talked about 4 of Sean’s specials, but not the last one. Canceling into Dragon Smash is the worst idea ever. You should only be putting a Dragon Smash on the screen in the following scenarios: Reversal, (use EX, it’s the safest, but still not very good.) If your opponent jumped-in and you’re reacting to it (though cl.hk does more damage if you can get it, and depending on your opponents tech roll speed, cr.hp and cl.hp give you more mixup potential.) You’re hit confirming vs an airborne opponent for extra damage (you can tack a super on here too if you wish.) You’re doing it as a psychic footsie. (I myself am guilty of doing this, but remember, if you whiff or it gets blocked, its your ass.) This move should really ONLY be on the screen as a reversal or if you’ve hit confirmed into it, PERIOD. The following moves can be canceled into dragon smash s.lp, cr.lp (lp or mp DS only, you can’t confirm this off anything other than a parry btw, and use the lp version cause you can negative edge it, it’s faster and they all do the same damage.) cr.lk (same as above but without negative edge potential) cl.mp, cl.hp, (confirmable.) Off of a cr.mp, cr.hp or cl.hk dragon smash will whiff on most characters, even if canceled, and it will whiff off cr.mk at anything other than close range.

Pay Attention To Your Opponent and Look For Patterns: I realize this may seem like common sense, and it is, but for Sean this is much more crucial than it is for other characters who can seemingly just always have something safe or high-priority on the screen. Almost every player has patterns and I’m not just talking about flowchart shotos. I’m going to point out a few scenarios where you will have a good opportunity to study what your opponent does so that you can adjust your gameplay appropriately. Start of the Round: Is your opponent attacking right away, or backing off waiting to react to you? Some opponents think they have a very safe option from “Round 1 – Fight” and will do it every time since it’s risk/reward is low. Don’t expect your opponent to do the same thing at the start of every round, especially if you’ve beaten it once and don’t do the same thing yourself, but pay attention. If your opponent is attacking right away, chances are a far+hp will probably out-prioritize them, or catch them in recovery if they also put a long range move on the screen. If you as a Sean player want to know what’s the safest thing to do from the start of the round far+hp is it. Assume your opponent will adjust his game: If your opponent does something twice, and you beat it both times, it’s normally pretty correct to assume he’s going to do the opposite next time, though a really good opponent will adjust after just once, and a really really good opponent might just do the same thing again, thinking you will expect him not to. Also, be mindful of this with your own gameplay. I once hit an opponent who was very competent at the game with 6 wakeup sweeps in a row, why? Because he was playing aggressively, not blocking, and nobody is dumb enough to do the same thing 6 times in a row on wakeup, that’s why. Sean players aren’t too proud to try anything, a win that feels grimy is still a win, and nothing is too grimy for a Sean player. What is your opponent doing on his wakeup? Pay attention to this, though this is the one variable that’s most likely to change throughout the match. If every time you knock your opponent down, he is waking up with a move, you can be assured that 6 wakeup sweeps might actually work on him if you time them right, and parries are probably free. If he wakes up crouch blocking every time, try overheads and throw mixups, and whatever you do, try to maximize your damage. The less times you have to knock him down, the less looks he gets at your mixup and the more likely it is to work. An opponent who is very low on life will also most likely do 1 of 2 things when he gets knocked down as well: wakeup super or reversal because he’s assuming you can’t parry it, or, try to throw you because he expects a parry attempt on the super he thinks you think he’ll use. Sometimes it can be a good idea to put distance between your opponent if you have the life lead and they have very little health. Is your opponent tech rolling? This is an important thing I think a lot of people may not take into consideration. Certain setups (most notably Sean’s taunt setups) don’t work often on opponents who tech roll, and some opponents tech roll fast enough to punish you if you dashed-in to meaty or keep pressure on them… Seans supers are the only moves Sean has that can not be tech rolled, so they’re essentially the only guaranteed taunt setup opportunity. If your opponent tech rolls a midscreen neutral or forward throw, far+hp and cr.mk will both hit at extreme range (but they will whiff on Oro and Dudley, and the cr.mk whiffs on Q) pretty much everything else is a terrible idea, unless you’re more than sure your opponent will just block (but it’s typically the rushdown players who like to tech roll.) What is your opponent doing after their own safe blockstring/move? Lots of opponents (not necessarily good ones, but lots nonetheless) do rely on some form of “flowchart” to win, a notable example is the crossup j.mk ~ cl.mp ~ hp ~ Hadoken or Shoryuken ~ Super setup that Ken has. This is what I call playing on “autopilot” in other words, if a Ken player does this, and you block it, they’re just gonna throw the hadoken, and then they’re at the perfect range to start the jump-in all over again and they will likely do this over and over if you don’t give them a reason not to. Some opponents like to do 1 singular move that’s safe on block, then always do the exact same thing every time you block it. Elena players seem to be fond of neutral jumping after a blocked j.hk, then punishing you for whiffed throw attempts or any whiffed normals, in much the same way that Yun and Yang players like to do neutral jump dive-kicks after a blocked jump-in. If you can identify that this is your opponent’s “autopilot” and put a stop to it, they’re gonna have to switch over to manual pretty quickly if they want to beat you, and lots of times they either don’t have a “manual” mode, or won’t be able to make the adjustment fast enough. What is your opponent doing after teching a throw? This is something that I think a lot of players never thought to study, but I noticed long ago that most opponents always do the exact same thing after every single tech throw. I think this is an automatic response to the match being “reset” so to speak and most people don’t ever think about it, but this is a great place to identify a pattern. I’ve noticed that tons of players immediately jump forward after teching a throw, if this happens, dragon smash them, or worse. Additionally, the other common response is to walk backwards, and if they do this, Sean Grab almost always works. (In fact Sean Grab is a good idea for jumpers too because it scoots under their jump-in arc, just make sure it’s empty.) Some players may neutral jump because they expect you to jump or dash-in, be wary of this, other players may dash forward, wanting to keep pressure, of course, all of these are viable options, but none of them is a viable option every time. If your opponent is going to only do the same thing over and over again, make sure you punish them for it. Even safe moves can be parried in this game.

Minimize Your Risk: Sean, as I’ve mentioned several times, does not have particularly good, or safe options, so below are strategies for how to do unsafe things, and get away with them. Even though good advice would be to tell you to never do a move with any negative frames, and always react to everything you can punish, in the real world, people don’t have 4 frame reaction time (well, it can be argued that some do, but you will probably never play them, and even their timing could be off by a frame or two from time to time.) The following are some situations that can give you ideas as far as how to make unsafe moves as safe as possible. Jumping-In: Jumping-in is essentially a horrible idea in most fighting games, and it’s not a great one in this game either because your attacks can be easily parried, but, remember you can parry your opponents anti-airs as well, and you should at least be trying to…every time. If you empty jump and land right next to your opponent, throw is the fastest thing you can do* (more on this later,) but be aware that every character has recovery frames from landing from a jump in which they can be thrown for free, and the best opponents know this, even so, I believe that it’s only -2, meaning they have to just-frame their throw attempt, but technically empty jumping isn’t safe either. You need to also be sure to mixup empty jumps with jump-in attacks, and if you find yourself getting parried, change the timing a little so the attack happens earlier, or later than it has been, or change which attack you’re doing. This is another reason to not always jump in after the same blockstring or from the same distance, the amount of time it will take you to reach your opponent will be the same and they will easily adjust their parry timing. Remember Sean does have a crossup with j.mk so don’t forget to mix that in, and super jumps are your friend, especially against opponents who want to turtle. Off of a blocked wheel kick: Wheel kick is -3 on block, but usually you’re too far away to be regular thrown, keep in mind I said “usually” if it hits really deep, anyone can throw you and there won’t be anything you can do about it. So, given that, what’s a good option? Walk forward throw. This usually works and you don’t usually have to move very far, normally in a worst case scenario, your opponent will simply tech it. From this range you’re also usually in “close” so your best weapons are all options too, but target combo is a safe one that’s the same speed as cl.hp and cl.hk, and you can actually cancel into a high-damage super if the cl.mp hits, even better if they’re in the corner. Shoryu-Cannon and Hyper Tornado are options too, and Sean Roll is a good idea if you’re feeling a high counter attack. Your opponent could also super you too, depending, so make sure you consider what super they have and their meter. EX Wheel Kick is only -1 on block which means a parry is a good option. Tornado Kick on hit: Tornado Kick on hit is -3 and leaves you as close to your opponent as you possibly can be. This is one scenario where I won’t even tell you you have options, you shouldn’t really be doing this move, but sometimes you just have to, if you do it, throw, every time. Throws are 2 frames, and you’re -3 which means your opponent has 1 frame to throw you for free, or else you’ll tech it, or better yet, throw them. You’re probably gonna get punished hard for hitting with a tk in the first place, might as well do the safest thing possible, which is a throw. The same strategy could be applied to a tornado kick on block (which leaves you in worse recovery,) or an EX tornado kick on block which is -3 also. EX Tornado Kick on hit: If my calculations are correct, EX tornado kick on hit leaves you at 0 frames, meaning you and your opponent recover at the same time. Smart opponents who don’t know this for sure, but are trying to minimize their chances of getting hit, will still attempt to throw you, meaning you have 2 frames to do something, while putting a throw out just like you do with a regular tk on hit is an option, a reversal might actually be a better one (especially if your opponent has been “trained” to throw after tks.) EX Dragon Smash, and especially super work here because I’ve found that almost nobody blocks or parries after getting hit by EX Tornado Kick, most players try to retaliate. Parrying is also a good option here if you don’t expect a throw attempt. *Target Combo on hit or block: *Target combo is safe on hit and block, but not by much and many opponents don’t realize it. I’ve found that the range it leaves you at makes many players want to stick a low on the screen, so a low-parry is an extremely good option here, but jumping-in could be a good one too. If your opponent is very defensive and you want to press your attack, s.mk works great here because of it’s timing. * Remember when I said throw was the fastest thing you could do? That’s not entirely true. Hyper Tornado is 2 frames on startup, and I’m pretty sure it’s invincible for at least one of them (at the very least a throw won’t beat it,) and Shoryu-Cannon is a 1 frame super, which I know for a fact has invincibility, in fact, Shoryu-Cannon may have the highest priority of any super in the game. If you can time a Shoryu-Cannon so that it comes out in the EXACT frame you’ve recovered, it will beat ANYTHING your opponent puts on the screen, including their super. Now, this strategy of using an unconfirmed super may be deemed “scrubby” but when the move is this fast, it’s more of a calculated risk. Opponents expect wakeup supers, but they don’t expect okey-dokes, especially not from Sean. Obviously this trick won’t work more than once (if your opponent has half a brain) and they could still parry it, but it is an option, and shouldn’t be forgotten about. Because of Shoryu-Cannon’s properties, it can also be used to punish moves that otherwise recover too fast to punish with Sean or to beat your opponents own okey-doke setups… Remember, you don’t have to confirm into your super if your super is guaranteed, and I’ve seen people lose matches because they didn’t do this.


#10

brb maining sean


#11

I’ll be adding character specific matchups later, is there any that anyone wants to see in particular?


#12

Sean vs Urien


#13

Great guide bro. I’ve been playing Sean lately and all this info really helped me out.


#14

wow, sean ftw?
Really nice work, man.


#15

What do you do when you lose to a really scruby ken or chun li?


#16

True story, I’ve never seen a Sean player win, how do you deal with the demoralization?


#17

Resisting any ‘5th overall out of 5?’ jabs, lol. Great guide, good to see real effort go into non-tierwhore character guides.


#18

I never would have anticipated a Sean guide on SRK period. But, I’m very glad that I do see it. Excellent write up btw.


#19

Great guide! I’ve been messing around with Sean, and finishing off players (Often times Gill in player matches) with the basketball is hilarious.

Unfortunately, people don’t seem to get as mad in 3sO compared to SSF4, so I just have funny victories sitting around without any funny rage messages.


#20

Keep trying. Just keep in mind that you’re using the absolute worst character in the game (by a lot). Losing doesn’t matter with Sean (Dan, too), but winning is a huge deal.