For the most part, mixups in Street Fighter come in a few ways:
High/Low: Not the most common mixup in SF, but still happens with a few characters. Example: When Juri has Feng-Shui Engine activated, she can combo out of her overhead into big damage, however, she also has a fast low in C.lk. To make things worse, both of these tools are safe, so Juri has very little risk to doing either. Overhead is hard to react to, but it’s do-able, while C.lk is almost instantaneous, making it very hard to defend against.
Front/back: This isn’t a 3D fighting game, so crossups are a big thing. Example: When Ibuki scores knockdown, she has a plethora of moves she can do, that all end in a combo into knockdown. The most powerful of these moves is her Knife, which depending on which version is used, throws at different angles, some of which will hit behind them, and others that will hit in front of them. This make’s Ibuki’s oki game incredibly frustrating to deal with.
Grab/Attack: Grabs in Street Fighter can be teched by throwing out a grab at the same time. Because of this, however, you’re left weak to moves that beat grabs. If you play Guile, for example, you can throw out a meaty upside down kick, because it beats grabs, and lows. The problem with many tools for this mixup is that in SF4 we have this thing called crouch tech, which is when you crouch and input lk. If the opponent grabs, you get a grab, if not, you get an lk. This means any meaty moves that would get beat by c.lk cannot be used in oki, destroying the oki game for much of the cast. This essentially leads SF4 to be a game where some characters have really good oki tools, and others have really bad ones. These mixups work best on knockdown, obviously, but some characters have ways to do it during regular play.
SPD/Whatever anti-air your grappler has: Whenever a move puts a grappler at more than +1, that grappler will normally go for this mixup. Essentially, the defender has to jump, or block. Grappler’s have grabs that cannot be broken, do tons of damage, and are extremely fast. The only options are to jump, or block. Some characters can use fast, grab invulnerable moves in this situation, however most of these moves are incredibly unsafe, and may cost meter. An example for Zangief is if he hits EX green hand, he’s +1 on block, which forces the opponent into this mixup. The opponent is playing Balrog, and doesn’t have full charge, which means his only options are to jump or block. Gief can then use his SPD, or Lariat. Both are unsafe, but they also do good damage, and knockdown.
For the most part, all mixups in Street Fighter involve one of those 4 methods, or a variation on one of them.
For a character that has all of those qualities you’re looking for, I’m looking at a few that might be up your alley, but there are always a few weaknesses. Ken has strong ambiguous cross-ups on wakeup, and his kara throw gives him quite a few grab/attack options. He has very strong mid range pokes. Rolento has a ton of mixup tools (Some that are unique to him), and thanks to his standing mp buff, doesn’t have too many weaknesses. He’s weak on wakeup without meter, however, but you’ll normally have some, because Rolento isn’t very meter dependent. Poison has an interesting oki game involving her projectile, and also has strong pokes. Seth literally has any tool you could want, and has access to all of these mixup options, at the cost of having pretty much zero life points.
To answer the later questions:
High Low Mixup is possible without overhead, but not common. Seth’s instant head stomp is fast enough that it can be used instead of an overhead.
Yes, there are some moves that are positive on block. Most of them are jabs. This is why some characters with fast movement speed (or kara throws) can turn a blocked jab into a legitimate mixup against players who crouch tech. |
Grabs, like I explained earlier, are strong mixup tools in Street Fighter, because attempting to go for a tech puts you at risk of getting hit by certain moves. Crouch techs, by nature of being a C.lk if you don’t grab, can be mixed up as well, but some mixups don’t work on crouch tech, or exclusively work against crouch tech and not regular grabs. It’s always helpful to have a mixup that beats crouch tech, but necessary if you plan on using mixups as a major part of your game.
I personally don’t play very mixup heavy in SF, because I’m naturally more of a turtle/footsie style player, but knowing these things is key to playing good defense, as well as having a strong offense. Know your enemy… Well, that and I also play extremely mixup heavy in Killer Instinct, so there’s that too.