SSFIV: Are Ultra combos a big part of your game plan?

As I’m trying to learn character match-ups with my main, I’m having a little bit of trouble squeezing Ultras into how I should fight the match.

I realize that every character has two Ultras and that they can be match-up specific (unless you’re someone with a shitty second Ultra, like C.Viper), but should it be a main part of my game plan? One of the biggest obstacles stopping me from stepping my game up is where my ultra should factor into my game. As a result, I’m getting my ass kicked because some matches I’m expecting to use my ultra as if it’s guaranteed.

Also, I know some characters rely on EX-meter to win (Sakura, Makoto for example), and although that’s more guaranteed than Ultra, no one starts off the match with it so those characters are automatically at a disadvantage. I don’t play either of them, but I can’t imagine anyone who plays them that plans to win without meter (even though it’s very possible).

I’m thinking I should formulate my game plan for match-ups without my Ultra, and then modify it when the meter becomes available, but I feel like that would make me predictable.

How do you guys structure your game plan?

Umm… I use ultras ONLY during situations I can eg. a punish. Other than that… I try to ignore my ultras now (at least on ryu o_o), sometimes you gotta risk it though if you just need that one bit more to win. Still really risky overall depending on the ultra. That’s how I see it O_O".

Ultras are an important part of SF4, sure. But more importantly you need to learn your character inside out. Learn every viable combo, learn the properties of your specials and ultra and learn how to use your characters normals, crossups and pokes. You should have a solid game plan with all your characters tools so that if your ultra comes along it’s just another tool you have access to. Don’t treat it as your get out a jail free card, most scrubs have to learn to only use ultra when it’s guaranteed to hit.

I don’t think anyone gets hit on purpose to build ultra, except when focusing. But it’s important to know your characters combos into ultra if they have them.

Personally, I use ultras, like Necrotic said, as punishment. Especially when the majority of the online players like to stand over you when you are knocked down, so I use my ultra on wake up. If it’s not a KO, they definitely keep their distance the rest of the match.

And then it’s blocked and you give your opponent a free guaranteed ultra while wasting yours. Smart.

I normally don’t aim to set up my ultras, I just throw them out if the opportunity presents itself (I play Akuma/Balrog, so if I land a crumpling focus with Akuma or I decide to throw out a headbutt in my BnB or catch them with one as an AA with Rog). I don’t focus on baiting out the appropriate mistake to land it unless I’m at a big HP disadvantage and I need to take a gamble, because if the bait goes wrong then I’m fucked.

Playing as Fei Long means that Ultras aren’t really that big a part of my game, because outside of punishing big whiffs, they don’t really net that much damage.

I use it when:

  1. I have the opportunity to punish, which isn’t too often as it’s start up isn’t great and it’s dependant upon position
  2. After a focus crumple, this comes about once a round, but obviously I need to have the ultra already
  3. After a Flamekick FADC into Chicken Wing, if I need to squeeze another 100 damage for the win

I rarely use them for chip as it’s highly dangerous most of the time with the risk of being counter-ultra’d, and when it’s not, I forget to. But the ultra is highly dependant on Focus fishing if you want big damage with it, which can end up hurting your game a lot if abused.

I dont really use my ultra’s unless my opponent does something stupid and basically ask’s for it.

To be honest though i kinda wish this game didnt have them it just rewards people for playing like crap.

It really depends on the character for me

With chun li Im probably using an ultra every game at least, sometimes each round if Im using Kikosho. However when Ive got hosenka its more of a threatining tool to stop fireballs than an ultra aimed to combo, so it might get less use.
With dan my ultras gonna be used ussualy once a game, sometimes more. I use ultra 2, because its got a lot more options.
with ken its just an ender to my whatever->srk fadc ultra. I dont like his u2 very muc, even tho many say its better.
With Guy I rarley use my ultra. Goraisenpujin is too situational to land practically, so I ussually go with muso renge. I throw out the muso renge when im in the opponents face and im fishing for them to throw out a jab or something other than block.

Itd be nice if we had 8 bars of meter but only the first four could be used for an fadc, and an ultra or super took 4 bars of meter. You could also use any ultra or super during a match since they all have the same input.

Once I get it I spend the rest of the round trying to land one of its setups

If it starts becoming a problem I’ll quit putting so much pressure on my gameplan to hit it

You’re right. What I think I’ll do is try to go a few matches without using Ultras (even if I get them) to learn other tools and options at my disposal, so that I don’t go into games expecting to use and land ultras.

@Kelter Skelter That’s actually the behavior I’m trying to avoid; many of the people I fight change the way they play once I get an Ultra, because they’re aware that I could solely be trying to set it up. I mean, I don’t blame them because I do the same thing; when I see that someone has an Ultra, you better believe I’m hauling ass after a knockdown.

Not really, I use Akuma. I mean, I watch jump-ins to land the Raging Demon but its not something I base my game around. Though I don’t complain when I do land it :slight_smile:

Random ultras and wake up ultras are bad, mmkay?

Most characters have some way to combo into ultra. Learn it. Just throwing them out randomly will get you killed. Even if it somehow hits and you win, what did you really learn?

it really depends on the character and the ultra. would be nice if you listed who you play as. for example, ryu’s u1 has so many juggle opportunities for it not to be used pretty often, same can be said about rufus’ u1. some scrubby (imo) ultras like dhalsim’s u1 can be spammed pretty well even just for chip damage since it has pretty nice recovery. then of course theres the ultras with fast startups can be used to punish a variety of moves, as well as anti-air ultras.

so yes, ultras are a big part of the game. even just having an ultra meter can shutdown an opponent’s certain movesets like rufus’ u2 making players more wary of the moves they do even if the ultra doesn’t come out (unless you bait them out coughgamerbeecough).

For the sake of argument, let’s say he’s using a grappler.

I play as Cammy and I haven’t found a single good setup for her Ultra, so I don’t incorporate it into my gameplan at all. I’ll do it if my opponent whiffs his Ultra, but that’s it.

I don’t use my ultra all that much (Bison U2) but the fear of that ultra is enough. It stops people from doing a bunch of things and removes the fear of fireballs almost completely. The ultra itself is useful but nowhere near as useful as the fear of it for the opponent.

Kinda would be nice if you told us your main @ OP

Anyways, Since I main Ryu and alt. Balrog and Guile… Its a huge part of my game. Not something I would sacrifice life for, but it does help the come back opportunities…a lot

You should be using Ultras depending on your character, It can be a huge part of your game. Makoto would be completely screwed against Fireball Zoners if she didn’t have U2. Then again, Zangief dosn’t really need U1, since its basically a stronger version of his SPD. I’m sure most Zangief players would trade it for a anti-fireball ultra

One that I can do and I don’t even use her at all.

Cannon Spike > FADC backwards > Ultra

Let me know how it works for you, man. All the best.

Uhmm…I only really use my ultra as punishment/when I know for sure it’s gonna hit. Most of us can definitely learn to use a combo into it so it can be more practical, but sometimes it’s difficult to pull it off. You need to anticipate your opponent/need good execution. and if I focus too much on trying to land the ultra I get distracted and forget about anything else, so then my opponent would just beat me to death as I desperately try to pull off the ultra combo.

&& good players will know your ultra set ups anyway, so it’s best for me not to try unless I know it’s gonna work/less risky.