Strategy going into a match

Hello SRK!

I’ve played fighting games for a little while and I’d like to think I’m at least average in SSF4. Now I’ve read a lot of interviews and the like where pro players give advice to guys like me. Almost everyone says that you need to have a strategy going into a match. I’m kinda used to just winging it. I play Honda and I do know that against projectile characters I need to be patient and try to walk them to the corner and I do have some matchup info that I use to my advantage. My question is: How deep of a strategy should I try to have at the start of a match? Just something simple like “Block fireballs, walk forward until he’s in the corner and keep him there” or something deeper?

Thanks in advance!

Everything is basically experience, find someone who you can’t beat and add him to your friendlist.
Or if they don’t accept learn their character by maining them for a while, you’ll be able to exploit them.
As for your honda, play against a good akuma and see how far walking him down gets yeah…it’s basically a gamble whether you catch him or not and one wrong move leads to the vortex

You didn’t really answer my question. I know it’s all experience but I’m just curious how do the better players approach their matches. Do you have the whole round/match planned out before it even begins or do you just try to get to the ideal position for your character and go from there?

And yeah, Akuma is a bit of an exception to that rule :smiley:

You can’t plan out the entire round before it begins because you have to play against another person who’s constantly trying to outwit you. You can have a gameplan, but it has to be flexible enough to account for actions that the opponent takes.

Sure you can try to walk your opponent into the corner, but what if it’s a Ryu that only does walk forward, cr. mk xx fireball? What if once you get him in the corner, he instant air hurricanes out of there?

There are different approaches to the match. With Honda, have a gameplan and realize what you’re trying to accomplish. Then, make sure that you don’t allow the opponent to execute their gameplan. One example: Against a fireball character, walk up to them. If you get close enough, you can jab-HHS basically for free. If you’re almost that close, the opponent has to be very careful with the fireballs or you’ll jump over it for a free combo.

What I try to do is recall character specific moves that work on my opponent’s character before the match so that when these unique instances appear, I’m mentally prepared to react quickly to it.

If I’m playing against the same character/player multiple times, I try to recall events that happened in prior matches and try to come up with counter strategies (or just doing something differently) before the match for it so I’m better prepared.

Know what beats what, where and when.

Know your ideal place in the match.

Know what your mindset should be; turtling? Rushdown? Where about in between the two??

Know when to disregard all matchup advice and play the player.

I’d say you’d want to have an idea of what you are going to do in every common situation as the match occurs. You want to have setups that make your opponent do the wrong thing, and can lead to big damage/good positioning.

Personally for each character I like to play I like to have multiple setups off of forward throw, back throw, sweep, and any other hard knockdowns I have. You want to know what your options are then and be able to exploit your opponent being knocked down.

If your plan against fireball characters is to walk them to the corner, you have to have a plan if they decide not to comply, and just try to play footsies with you, or whatever their alternative plan is.

You have to know what you want to do to contain them in the corner. This means knowing how to counter their escape options of they have some, and trying to find the correct corner spacing that leads to a combination of pressure but also keeps you in position to not allow your opponent to escape.

Flexibility is important. Exploit your opponent’s bad tendencies. If you realize your opponent isn’t pressuring you much and is going to let you save your meter? Save it. Honda’s super is great. If you your opponent’s footsies consist of one button, hit the counter button. You have to make reads as the match progresses, but you want to have the ability to execute your gameplan even if your opponent tries to counter it with theirs.