Taking "unnecessary" damage


Greetings people of SRK, I hope I am posting this in the right place. If not, sorry.

My question is this: are there situations where taking more risk/damage is appropriate (or even necessary)? Perhaps for positional advantage, for example?

I hope I am not being too vague here.

Thanks in advance.


SRK will definitely consider this vague. this is more of something only I’m most likely to help you with.

outside of trading hits, mental manipulation (which isn’t very reliable IMO), or SOME kind of way of gaining a practical advantage (ex. let them attack you for super/ultra or something), I don’t think it’s ever helpful to purposefully take damage. to risk taking damage is fine. generally risks depends on your char’s moves and the HP you and your opponent has during the match. like, you’ll take more risks with Zangief and Gouken when you have low life than you would as Akuma or Seth. then because of their moves, even if you have more life you’d still be taking risks cause of how they work.


its not uncommon for players to sandbag someone to see what they have, if thats what you mean.

sandbagging means to lose a round intentionally.

i dont really recommend it, but im also not a pro player.


SSF4 has a couple of these.

The hit for Super/Ultra as well as trades mentioned above.
Then you have some character specific situations, against Rose Ultra 2 moving in and taking the chip/low damage, sometimes Gief will take a hit to set you up for an SPD. In certain situations Hakan can take a hit when oiling up, and still gain the boost. In some rare situations against Gief you can take the pokes and avoid getting SPD’d.

All in all though it’s rarely an advantage to take damage you could have avoided.


There’s definitely situations where it’s worthwhile.

  • Sometimes you let an opponent get away with some low-damage thing early on to condition them so that you might do a big-damage counter later.

  • Some situations you maybe don’t want to get hit but you’re willing to take it, such as jumping into a non-knockdown anti-air just to get a little closer.

  • In pretty much every game you see people waking up jump into sloppily-timed crossups so that they just get reset and only take the small damage from the jump-in rather than have to guess which way the crossup will hit and potentially eat a fat combo. Daigo does this all the time in SF4, I guess this thread is evidence that most people don’t really pay attention to what they’re watching though.

  • In ST getting hit by a shallow jumpin then throwing (known as sacrifice/sac throw) is a viable tactic, because the hitstun on medium and heavy jumpins is significantly less than the blockstun.

  • Many times during mixups it’s worth it to just defend against the high-damage option, willingly eating the low-damage option, especially if the high-damage option will kill you but you have enough life to take the low-damage option many more times. For example in SF4, you might be in a situation where Rufus’ combo to ultra will kill you but you can afford to eat a few throws before you die. John Choi has been an advocate of this particularly.

It’s a very high-level tactic and not something most people (including me, honestly) understand, but when Alex Valle says “the lifebar is the greatest mindgame of all” and Viscant says “In almost all versions of SF2, playing Dhalsim involved a fair amount of getting hit on purpose just to get some kind of other objective” I’m willing to take it as fact.


interesting. I’ve got no idea what the hell he’s talking about either.I know positioning is important, but i’ve never heard of taking damage on purpose to achieve some objective. the closest I’ve done to that is walk forward through fireballs as Honda, tends to make bad players shoryuken or freeze up and not throw another hadouken. weird that I don’t get ti either cause I understand some pretty high level shit. I’d need to see it in action. what Alex said I get though


Just remembered another example that I remember Viscant mentioning somewhere previously (think this was for SF4, don’t know if it’s still pertinent in SSF4 where Ultras do much less damage); against Abel as Blanka, as soon as Abel gets Ultra it’s worth it for Blanka to start doing random balls, trying to eat the ultra while the damage is still low so that he can actually fight on an even footing.

Just talked to Banana Ken and he agrees, mentioning shotos vs. Balrog or anyone vs. Rufus U2 as other cases where you might want to do this.


if you get cable to piss out all his big red juice before he’s filled up all the way then he is a pushover after


against rufus you can position yourself such that if they ex messiah rufus will hit you but not all will connect and rufus will go through you. you can then punish his recovery.


Thanks for the replies so far.

This came to me after watching SoCal HDR finals and Chen said something along the lines of “Daigo is not afraid of taking damage”. I believe the situation was Guile in the corner with Ryu jumping in and they end up trading hits. This makes Ryu stay further away from Guile than he would have been if Guile just blocked I believe, making it easier to deal with being in the corner.

Do I have the right idea?


Ryu vs Blanka, 1 or more rounds left: Ryu has full super a sizeable life lead on Blanka and Blanka is low on life/time is running out. For Blanka, it’s a good idea to go for random balls to get Ryu to waste the super and build meter so that Blanka can start the next round at with an advantage, or at least much more meter.


blanka balls are extremely risky in any situation. i dont agree at all with the person above me


read his post you fucking moron


I did. I disagree with it. If you read my original post about sandbagging, or throwing the round away, you would understand my position better. Theres no guarantee that the Ryu player will waste anything, and you just threw the round away. If you think you’re going to lose the round, I recommend turtling and building meter or trying to build momentum. also if you can actually win that round when you should have lost, youll almost always win the next round. Its called momentum

I am better than you in every conceivable way. <3


ryu cant punish blank ball on block without wasting anything. yaafi


If you have so little life that anything other than super will kill you only the most terrible Ryus are going to go for super anyway. Obviously you go for it with very little health left, but still enough so that super will kill you where other punishes won’t. It then becomes a tactical decision for Ryu rather than a clear cut case of one option being strictly better than the other. If he doesn’t bite you’re still alive.


Thats not really the point I was trying to make. Ryu has a good jab that can stuff a blanka ball, he can also jump it and the blanka player can be in a bad situation. I dont know if a Dash forward sweep would punish it, i forget. Im just not a fan of throwing the round away, I understand his point, and I can see why some people would do it. Im just saying, I wouldnt.

When I play against people knowing im going to win the round and have super, I wont waste it unless i absolutely have to.


Back in the day we used to call this “theory fighter”


lol i just realized this thread is in the newbie forum why even bother


Gotta love the ad hominem! Its so much better than flat out admitting one is wrong, or that having a differing strategy is ok and moving on!

Thats asking a bit much though, this is SRK where people think theyre going to prove theyre good by resorting to personal attacks.

Truth is: Blanka balls are risky unless you’re smart with them. If you’re playing someone who has any idea what theyre doing they arent going to waste a super unless you change the momentum of the round and they think theyre going to lose.

Just try to save face though, your net ego depends on it! quick! :slight_smile: