SSF4/AE - Countering lows?


From what I can tell, cr. LK and cr. MK’s main purpose is to check your horizontal movement; if you try to step forward or back when you’re close enough, you’re not blocking low, so you’ll get hit. When you are blocking low, you can’t move, so you’re pretty much stuck in one place (which is bad if your intention is to get closer).

If you know your opponent is going to chuck one out, how do you stop it?

You could interrupt it, but that requires frame advantage/good timing;
you could reversal it, but a lot of reversals have poor horizontal range and may whiff (not to mention it’s really risky to just throw out)…
Focus doesn’t seem to work, as these pokes recover too fast. At best you’ll get a level 2 blocked, at worst you’ll get hit with lights or a cancel into special.
Whiff punishing seems extremely hard if not impossible; if anything I would throw this into the “interrupt” category since you seem to need to preemptively whiff punish instead of doing it on reaction.
Whiff punishing with walk forward > throw could work, but your spacing has to be immaculate, and the throw could be teched. And it won’t work at all against lights.
Jumping over would only work for HKs, as cr. LK/MK often recover fast enough to block.

It seems like you have to go through a lot of trouble to counter them, like there is not an easy “rock/paper/scissors” solution here.


If there was a easy rock/paper/scissors solution to footsies then fighting games would never be as interesting competitively. You play against the player and discover their weaknesses yourself. It’s usually never the same thing as people have different poke timings/rhythm, behaviors, etc…

Sometimes players have predictable timings, bad spacing etc… and doesn’t adapt over your matches, and the better players are seemingly formless until you test waters and find a habit you can exploit.

Of course you have to study the footsie handbook so that you know some fundamental ways to punish certain habits or to help bring out something you could punish conditioning

Also character specific, there’s some moves that goes over most cr. mk’s hitbox but almost always doesn’t hit low. Example being Alex’s standing mk


You’ve already identified some of the possible solutions, but are discounting their effectiveness.

Whiff punishing is actually an extremely effective method of keeping people in line. If they’re throwing out buttons willy-nilly, then start pushing toward them - hover outside of their effective distance and hit them if they press the button.

Walk forward block is an effective pressure check. Most of the longer ranged moves are minus on block and/or have poor startup allowing you to use a block to walk forward or as you said stick out your own move pre-emptively to stuff theirs.

It is difficult to try and keep people grounded while keeping a good anti-air at the ready. Its worth it once in awhile to see if they’re still paying attention to the skies (risk/reward allowing) A jump in that makes it over a grounded move may not land a hit, but it does get you in their face at +.

There’s a lot of character specific stuff too, so check what your own char has and experiment!