Mix up 4
when opponent is grounded:
4i) Meaty c.lk combo.
Beats tech, normal counter, block. Loses to reversal and back dash.
4ii) Meaty cl.hk
Beat backdash. Loses to reversal.
4iii) Immediate throw
Beats block, normal counter. Loses to backdash, reversal and tech.
4iv) Walk back 1 frame out of throw zone then counter (watch to tatsu/fb is they backdash/teleport or whiff a throw)
Beats tech, backdash, reversal and teleport. Loses to normal counters.
4v) Meaty f.mp
Beats cr. blocking, tech and normal counter. Loses to stand block and reversal.
4vi) Early ex-tatsu
Beats command throw, normal tech, normal counters, many backdashes. Loses to reversal.
4vii) Block 1 frame, throw
Beats instant wakeup reversal, block, normal counter. Loses to stand tech/delayed tech/backdash.
4viii) Block 1 frame, cr.lp/lk combo
Beats instant wakeup reversal, normal counter. Loses to stand tech/delayed tech/backdash/block. ** As long as ryu is not thrown due to instant reversal, he could continue the pressure as delayed tech would be beaten (normal stick out) or become block.
4x) cr.lp !!->s.mp!->cr.lp combo
Beats cr.tech, normal counter, backdash. Loses to reversal, block, standing tech
4xi) cr.lp !!->s.mp, kara throw
4xii) cr.lp !!->s.mp xx tatsu/fb/dp
Beats cr.tech, normal counter, backdash. Loses to reversal, block,standing tech
4xiii) cr.lp !!->s.mp xx tatsu/fb/dp
++ Most close up non-meaty mix up loses to command throw. To beat command throw, jump, or mix in tatsu/ex-tatsu in block string. Or don’t close in on command throw charc at all.
++ You can do a dp at any time off a mix up to fadc into U1.
Frame trap is something that almost all players know by now. I shall not go into the detail for ryu’s frame trap then. Only 1 thing I would like to highlight, is that frame trap should be mostly pressed slow. Ideally you want to grant a minimum 3 frame gap in between pokes. Now this may doesn’t seems to make sense as such wide gap means that people are able to counter right? No. It is because of delay crouching tech. If frame trap are pressed too fast (2 frames in between), then opponent will almost always succeed in auto blocking/crouch tech. That’s why it have to be done slow.
If you notice your opponent use delayed crouch tech, do your frame trap slower than normal. If you notice he immediate standing tech fast, do your frame trap fast (2 frame and below) and try to add in a crouch attack.
On a side note, note that most combo doesn’t require button to be pressed fast. If you look at the on hit advantage, you will realized that buttons and combo can be pressed really slow, to frame trap on block and also combo when hit.
There are some frame traps that are not combo, as they are purposely pressed really slow to hit counter/tech attempts.
- c.lp, c.lp, s.hp xx FB/Tatsu/DP * (s.hp is pressed really later on purpose, does not combo with c.lp. Opponent does eat a s.hp into special move combo if they attempt tech or normal counter).
- c.lp, c.lp, c.mp, s.mp (s.mp does not combo with c.mp)
Frame trap can be combo or non-combo. All combo frame trap can be made more effective by varying the timing of button pressed. This sometimes means that the combo still works, or that the combo no longer worked fully.
You can frame trap by pressing c.lp, 1 frame later after hit !->c.mp !->sweep.
c.lp grant 5 frame advantage on hit, c.mp have 4 frame start up. Therefore on a cr.lp hit, opponent will eat full combo.
In the block scenario, Cr.tech is done 3 frame after block and have a minimum 4 frame start up for it’s normal(cr.lk or cr.mp).
Between a blocked c.lp (+2 frame advantage on block for c.lp, 1 frame delay and 4 frame cr.mp startup) and c.mp, there is a 3 frame window. If the opponent attempt to cr.tech 3 frame after blocking c.lp, his normal move would have started.
So a proper frame trap should be given a minimum 3 frame gap to allow cr.tech’s option select normal to start up, and then counter hit the move on it’s startup frame. Therefore a combo like c.lp, 1 frame later after hit !->c.mp !->sweep is both a combo and a frame trap.
As long as you can hit the normal move startup of the cr.tech, it is okay whether it is a combo or non-combo. Take note though, that fast charc can use fast 3 frame normal to attempt to break your 3 frame frame trap (50/50 situation). But you can push him out of his fast 3 frame move range to slow frame trap him, or mix up with quick and slow frame trap, dp etc to heighten the mind game.
Frame trap against grapple
cr.lp xx/!!-> cr.lp xx ex-tatsu/dp
Take note that T-hawk and Zangief command grab on frame 2 and ultra on frame 1. Therefore it is important that your frame trap have only gaps of maximum 1 frame when they don’t have ultra, and have no gap when they have it. Cr.lp grant ryu enough stun on opponent that when canceled into ex-tatsu, ryu would have been air born and therefore could not be grabbed. This is one of the most effective grapple frame trap.
In theory, watch out and remember your grapple’s startup frame for command throw, and use frame trap that does not allow him to do his command throw. Watch out for certain command throw that have invincibility property though. Use canceled true block string to push him away, get air born by jumping or tatsu/ex-tatsu combo when they have meter and could use command throw with invincibility.
Closing Down, general strategy
There are 2 distance where opponent are not able to crouch over air tatsu. 1 is somewhere at 3/4 of the screen using hk version, the other is about half screen away using lk version. Your tatsu timing have to be perfect to execute this uncrouchable air tatsu, apart from the spacing. You can cr.mk over it when ryu air tatsu from front but it is hard, cause the tatsu change the trajectory and flight distance suddenly and often catch people off guard. U could do an empty jump or drop down earlier in front of opponent’s longest poke to mixup.
For cross up tatsu, if you timed it properly, is extremely hard to cr.mk over. On wakeup situation, it is not possible. On standing, the wierd timing would mean that your cr.mk would have hit the wrong direction and you could at most evade the cross up tatsu, while he would have recovered enough to apply more pressure or tech.
You could also throw an fb from far and do an empty jump. If he blocked the fb, air tatsu immediatly to drop just outside a cr.mk distance away from him.
If you spot an opponent backdashing/back flipping/teleport from your jump in, air tatsu to catch them or at least close them down.
From mid screen, throw lp fb then quickly air tatsu (crouch hitting) to force him to block while you get in, or drop down in front of his longest poke to pressure.
Try to land combo that end with normal tatsu. My favourite is cr.lk xx cr.lp !!-> cr.hp xx tatsu. This combo deals good damage and allow you to continue your rush down pressure. Against grapple charc and Ken, use lk/mk version of tatsu because you do not want to land beside them on wake up. Ken is dangerous up close and his hp dp catches ryu’s backdash and jump back at distance 0.
Against all other charc, use hk version to land beside them for more wake up pressure. Usually, a tatsu combo + mix up have the potential to remove 300-500 of opponent’s life in a flash.
Forward dash after fb or after pokes also works.
lk ground tatsu is good for closing in on charc like viper and Juri. Tatsu put ryu in an air born state to evade their special move like seismo hammer while closing in from far.
Closing Down, projectile charc
Ken and Akuma cannot do cr.mk into fb as their fb is much slower than ryu. They cannot cr.mk fb even during non-tip cr.mk situation. Unlike ryu, you could almost always do one of the following if they do cr.mk fb:
- Block cr.mk, fadc through fb to combo/throw (Loses to cr.mk xx tatsu/red fb though)
- Block cr.mk, ex-dp
- Block cr.mk, super/ultra
The timing to catch them is simple. When you block a cr.mk, look out for any sudden cancel animation (don’t care what it is). They have to recovery properly after a cr.mk. If there is any sudden animation, it means they must have cancelled into some special move. When you spot it, punish with one of the above.
Akuma therefore would almost always sweep in cr.mk distance while Ken would cr.mk. You could fadc it to throw ken, or combo/throw Akuma. Watch out for Akuma’s sweep cancel into U1 though.
When engaged in a FB war, you can from time to time anticipatively jump forward and get ready to air tatsu. If you spot the opponent throwing an projectile, do your air tatsu to kick his head, otherwise, drop down with an empty jump and you would have closed in (if he’s afraid of throwing projectile while you jumped). Or if you are far away and confident (and he is being defensive), you could throw an uncrouchable air tatsu to close in on him in a flash.
Ryu’s generally have only 4 ways of starting an rushing down apart from knocking down an opponent. If you are looking to rushdown on an standing opponent, look to do the below on him.
Ryu’s mix up options dramatically increases once he get into just outside cr.mk range. At this range, he could cross up air tatsu to hit behind, normal jump to hit front mixup (and it’s hard to reversal at this range), he could walk forward to cr.mk combo, cr.mk then dash in to throw, cr.mk then f.hp, walk forward cr.lp/cr.lk frame trap or kara throw. He can reaction fb to knock opponent whom jump back to escape, fwd dash to sweep backdash (depending on charc). Always look to get into this range when you are going to rush down and don’t let your opponent out of sight.
- After a blocked F.hp
- After an blocked air tatsu
- After an jump in (cross up/normal)
- After an blocked lvl 2 FA, then forward dash cancel
Footsie, in my explaination would be to simply hit opponent’s hit box while avoiding being hit by him. The idea is to hit his start up and recovery’s frame, while avoiding his hit box during active frame. The simplest way is to totally avoid attacking (and try to evade/block) his active frame, then attack during his start up and recovery.
These, require intense experiment on your own on all charc’s moves and hit box, and understanding of frame and hitbox data. I shall not go too far into it as you can experiment on your own, after understanding the principle.
One tips though, is that against charc like chun li whom have a god like cr.lk, you could do a cr.lk to try hit her cr.lk at far range (take note you have to wait until her active frame is over). Then OS into a ex-tatsu. On hitting her cr.lk, ryu will ex-tatsu combo. On whiff, ryu’s ex-tatsu will not appear.
I wrote about FB before. But here it is again, on why do we use FB.
Invincible long range move. It is the only move in which you cannot be hit out of if you use it at the right distance. The basic concept of footsie fighting is that you can hit your opponent only during active frame, but you can be hit on both start up and recovery frame. As u need to get to distance in which opponent could hit you on their own normal move in order to footsie, the fireball is a much better move to hit people with at the right distance. Plus, it gives chip damage which is very important in high level play.
To intercept opponent’s attack. Fireball intercept opponent’s attack move. At high level play, this is extremely important. You do not want to react and counter attack ur opponent’s attack as this is passive. U would find urself at a disadvantage if you are force to play your opponent’s mix up game. Throwing fireball at the right distance and at opponent’s start up move intercept their attack and keeps them out at the same time. For example, I would throw plenty of fire at blanka, knowing he could slide only at certain distance. Remembering he can only ex-roll at you if he have charge and that his jump distance is short, throwing fireballs effectively take out every mix up attack he have (such as fwd hop, bite. light horizontal/vertical roll, bite). This include intercepting opponent in the air.
Forget zoning. It is almost impossible to zone effectively in SFIV with fireball as it is nerf unless you use sagat or guile. U could zone only with limited success with it and a wrong fireball would get you punish heavily. Use it as a normal attack instead, rather than trapping your opponent. A half decent player would beat any non sagat shoto if they attempt to zone heavily with fireball.
Stopping and controlling opponent’s advancement and retreat. A fireball stop opponent from walking towards a advantageous position to them. It also force them to jump up, or jump fwd to a distance where you want them to be (at your advantage). You could also intercept an opponent’s retreat. Fireball put your opponent where you want them to be, at the right time. This is an important concept.
Forcing opponent to jump at you or do something unsafe. Frankly speaking, this can only happen if someone could do 1-4 well. Most half decent players are not gg to jump at you simply because you fireball. But do this well and ur opponent have no choice but to jump in.
Chase down opponent to punish. Certain move such as Akuma jump back fireball require a fireball to chase him down for a safe punish (Akuma cannot block after a air fireball for a while).
Faking and varying ur attack. If you keep using ur fireball at a good distance, opponent will start to respect that distance in which buys you time to get forward enough to fight close up at your advantage. You can then put them into intense pressure with your block string.
As a combo. There are certain situation in which a combo must end with a fireball (all other option will miss).
To pressure and getting in on opponent. You could use fb to make opponent block, then take advantage of the tiny window to advance and pressure him.
++ I had specifically mentioned, that from experience it is harder to jump over fb if u are crouching due to extra frame animation or extra joystick movement (from down, neutral to up), or both. I could not confirm these as these are from experience. It just much easier to jump over fb when neutral (not holding any direction). We used to call this neutral jump among friends.
Apparantly, Adon players seems to have noticed the same effect:
Adon Super Street Fighter 4 Moves, Combos, Strategy Guide : EventHubs.com
Under instant jaguar kick section on the above link.
Like the example above, but pressing down gives you a few more frames of animation to ‘hide the input’ so you can get out your Air Jaguar Kick.
Daigo had also mentioned that players are unlikely to jump after a crouch. What he really meant, I am not sure. But from experience you are more likely to get dp anti-air jumping off from non-neutral position. I always do anticipative, very early jump ins, if I notice my opponent is watching out for neutral jump and think I would not jump from non-neutral posture.
The most important aspect of ryu game play is defence. Use delay crouch tech, immediate standing tech, backdash, cr.lp, cr.mp and reversal for defence play.
- When you blocked an command throw opponent jump in, do not tech. Jump, dp or backdash.
- When you blocked an jumped in lp/lk, press a immediate cr.tech (this is the only situation in which I will press an immediate cr.tech), dp or just block. Do not do standing tech as you will be hit.
- If opponent is already outside throwing range but pressuring you, look to cr.lp counter, look out for frame trap though. You could either knock him away with your own move or he knock you away with his frame trap. So don’t worry, both outcome are fine.
- Do not spam instant wake up reversal. Good players will block for 1 frame before they throw you, so your instant reversal will never hit them.
- Do delayed cr.tech when opponent is hitting frame trap fast while close. Then look to normal hit them away or let them push you away.
- Do not tech if opponent is hitting frame trap slow. Reversal, jump away or cr.lp them away.
- While cr.tech with lp+lk+mp, if you somehow land a cr.mp on your opponent whether hit or block, do a quick combo to push them away. You could for example, cr.mp!->cr.mk then ex-fb (I assume the link would be slow as you were not prepared to link. So this is not really a true combo). This however, become a frame trap on your own to counter attack. It becomes that either you hit them for full hit or you pushed them away. Or if you are fast enough, cr.mp!->cr.hk to sweep them. Remember, ex-fb have greater knockback and faster recovery. It is great for pushing opponent away to relieve pressure during counter attack situation. And when hit, it knocks down granting you good opportunity to start your own pressure.
- Watch out when opponent have 2 ex-bar. You might want to stop teching for a while and not letting him get in on you.
- Do not ever attempt throw during wake up, or after dropping down from air. It have a 3 frame start up and you will always get hit by meaty moves. Do delayed cr.tech instead.
- If you spot opponent walking backwards after block string to hit/throw your whiff, do cr.mk after blocking. Or, you could do lp+lk+cr.mk to tech instead. So if he attempt to walk back to punish your whiff, your long cr.mk will hit him/push him away. If he attempt throw, then you will tech.
- For fast walking speed charc, you could do cr.tech until you are out of throw range, then you can opt to mash cr.lp, or if you are fast enough, timed a cr.lp combo (eg: cr.lp, cr.hp, tatsu). If they try to walk forward to throw you, they will be hit by your combo. Alternatively, you can plink lp~mp~hp into tatsu/ex-tatsu. If they walk, they must be standing and tatsu combo will hit. Watch out for frame trap though. Take note, that this doesn’t work on Adon for some reason. If he walk, do a standing tech.
There are basically 2 types of tech:
- Standing tech
- Crouch tech
There are some other variations of useful tech techniques dependent on matchup. This would be explain in match up guides.
Crouch tech is normally done 3 frame after blocking, while standing tech is normally done immediately I would not explain why here as this are already explained many times else where.
What I would like to explain here, is that to tech successfully, you have to watch what move your opponent did and amount of stun that move have. If your opponent uses lp, then you have to tech faster. If he uses mp, then you have to tech slower. The reason is due to stun frame. Every move have different amount of stun. You have to tech after the stun wear off. This is for cases in which a move have 0 to positive frame advantage to the opponent. For cases which a negative frame advantage move was used, cr.tech 3 frame after your opponent recover. For example, if opponent is ryu and he used s.lk which have -1 frame, tech after 4 frame instead. This is because the earliest he could throw is after he recover. Of course, players can choose to wait out a while before throwing to mind game. The window for them to successfully damage you with that though, is small. Plus you could always cr.lp them to mess with them or backdash.
Most players I saw just mash tech on a consistent timing. This is wrong and can be abused by better players. Match your tech timing to the move your opponent used.
++ There are some other match up specific defence and offence which I would cover, if I have the time to write about match up =)
Air to Air
Always be aware of your opponent’s charc jumping angle, height and move speed/angle. Always take note and jump in on them at distance where they could not air to air you. This means jumping in at distance in which if you press your air attack early, would beat their air-air attempts.
Ryu’s super is one of the best in the game. If you have it, make sure you land it. There are numerous ways to land it. The best and easiest way to land it unexpectedly on an opponent is off an air tatsu. Try to do an uncrouchable lk air tatsu or hk version 3/4 screen screen away and buffer an super. When hit, super off them. Do some anticipative empty jump to catch them doing unsafe things like vertical jumping, back dash or jump back. Spot them doing that, air tatsu once you reach peak of jump, or slightly after that to hit them off the air to super (You can ultra this way if opponent is in corner). Note you cannot super combo if you hit with a tatsu that is done before peak height.
Another method is off an uncrouchable cross up tatsu. Imagine this scenario:
Empty jump up, opponent scared to jump/backdash and hesistate, I air tatsu forward and he crouch block. Immediately after he blocked, I jump to cross up tatsu (if hit, super), if not, I cross up tatsu again (if hit, super) if not, I cr.lp pressure (if hit, combo into super) if not, I throw, jump in lk or cross up tatsu again.
It’s an endless loop until your opponent guess right.