The Art of Defending on Wake Up

Howdy y’all, someone on another forum I frequent was talking about how without a reversal a character can’t defend and although this can be an argument, it seems that the concept of defending was lost to them, so I decided to write this up. I thought it may be helpful here too and decided to share in case it made anyone’s thought process easier.

The art of defending on wake up: A non reversal guide to staying alive.
This is really just explaining how there are a variety of counter options.

Pantheon of opponent actions on your wake up:

Left high.
Left Low.
Right High.
Right Low.
Command throw.

All of this can have the various properties of being oki, invincible, Safe timing, double as anti air, ranged thus un-hittable etc.

Your opponent does not often have access to all of these at the same time, Abel’s ambiguous roll comes the closest IV gets.

Overheads are slow as frick in this game. Low block as a default, then visually confirm and block high if necessary. works in most situations, along with this only Rog and Chun go into actual damage off an overhead so it’s your lowest priority.

Left Right in this game is also pretty relaxed, ambiguous cross ups often both lose to FA back dash or simply back dash. On top of this comboing them from this height to be ambiguous isn’t always functional. So the left right game isn’t too bad.

Throws in this game should always be late teched, wait a little until after the throw would come in if they were to do one then press throw tech. This A techs throws, B does not throw animate or crouch short animate if you’re in block stun, but will tech if they attempt to throw you, learn people’s patterns.

Some want to be all flashy and reversal an anticipated throw, but unless you’re 98% sure they’ll do it, don’t go for that option as although it has good rewards the risk is severe if they just sit back and block.

Command throws, this is the only monkey wrench to defense in IV, the shiz can be bloody hard to deal with if the person correctly mixes it up, for this you need to be invincible or off the ground, that simple. This is the only kind of defense you have to do on assumption and cannot really do on reaction, everyone has the options of jump forward, neutral jump, jump back, back dash. Depending on the situation all of these can be useful:

Jumping forward can get you out of the corner, where even if they hit you it will likely reset you. That does less damage than a combo and it gets you out of a corner.

Neutral jump can sometimes punish the whiffed command throws with something massive though of course if they didn’t go for the command throw they get to anti air you for free if they did nothing (Bad plus potential knock down.), and will often reset you if they did something dual purpose like Gief’s standing strong.

Back jump can be a great defensive tool here though suffers from often the same things that beat the other jumps, this one can take you some distance from your enemy and on correct assumption re-establishes footsies and zoning to prevent the command grappler from getting a knockdown again.

Finally back dash, it fails to a lot of things that aren’t command grabs, any kind of option select low shorts etc, but a lot of things with A-moderate recovery and B- normal amount of hitting frames will not connect and not allow for punish.

Evasion, if you’re defending this likely means you just got additional space to work with so rejoice!

Wait, although this does not beat nor lose to block, depending on your opponent’s speed of thinking and that of your own you may still be on the defensive here, but it’s no longer a wake up situation.

Hope this is helpful!

Oh and if there are things you feel should be added please tell me, as this is meant to be informative more than anything else, not just ego tripping with knowledge.

Simplified version of SF4’s wakeup game and how to determine how many options the other person has when you’re floored:

  1. Do i have an easy-to-do AA that’s 3 frames, hits from the ground up, and invul on startup? Do that. 2 options, 1 online.

  2. Do i have an equivalent EX response? Do that instead. 3 options, 2 if your EX response is stuffable.

  3. Do i have none of the above? Eat shit on wakeup repeatedly. Enjoy that.

That’s the point, blocking is a perfectly reasonable alternative in real play to executing a reversal, people are spoiled by these near free reversal timing windows and seem to have forgotten how to block.

don’t waste your time on jagger dude… nice post btw.

Hi i’m a ken player and am too supid to understand which point he’s agreeing with, so i’ll just go with whoever sounds like he’s as retarded as i am. Wah, the rep system is gone so i can’t impotently pretend i’m penalizing others for my own idiocy.

And to the other genius: yes, blocking is a reasonable alternative to a reversal when the other person has the option of timing a wakeup attack. So the options are: do wakeup reversal move, or wait and block. Hey! That adds up exactly with what i fucking said! Imagine that. Evidently, Hooked on Phonics didn’t work quite as well as some had prematurely assessed.

Hmm, backdash beats crossups? Never knew that.
Also about blocking crossups on wake up, I’ve started trying to do these alot more frequently, but what i don’t get is i still get hit by them sometimes instead of blocking.
Heck i don’t understand when to block wake up crossups at all, maybe its because i always block low at the start and im too slow to stand up?

Backdashing doesn’t always beat cross-ups. It depends on your character, the move, timing and spacing. Sometimes a forward dash work, but again, it depends on same factors.

If you get hit by a cross-up, you should check your state (standing or crouching). If you’re crouching, it means you were too slow to stand up. If you’re standing it means you blocked the wrong way.

Focus back dash will beat any cross up that isn’t deep, but deep ones can often punish with fast attacks.

Can’t backdash “autocorrect” to foward dash to avoid crossups if its timed right when your opponent crosses over?

Simply put … Know your character and the other character option … And also guessing.
Reading a wall of text theory won’t make them improve

except i don’t actually play ken, but nice try on the burn anyways… your so smart jagger i wish i was as smart and cool as you are ; ;

Hey Chrisis, good intentions. You should clarify what you mean by left high/left low etc. I mean left high is probably cross-up and left low is fake cross-up into low attack, but you should use those specific terms so there’s no confusion.

Also you left out fake grab into DP/invincible move. It’s on the dirtier side of wake up games but it’s legit.

And listing things out according to priority of what to do against certain oki setups could be helpful for those not already aware. Like you see a person jump in, but it’s at a cross-up angle, so you block cross-up, but nothing hits, so you block low, and then quickly focus, backdash, reversal or tech. etc.

as far as teching throws, this is definitely my weak point. i’ve heard people say to just mash teching on wake up and on every opponents jump-ins. do u guys have any advice on improving throw techs? i’m amazed when i watch elite match videos and how they tech almost every single throw attempt.

do not mash tech on wakeup. if your opponent catches on he can dp you for free. watch your opponents patterns. does he walk in for a throw after a reset/jump in? dash throw a lot? guess tech these obvious throw attempts. otherwise:

  1. option select tech AKA crouch tech (crouch + low lp + low lk): if your opponent throws, you will tech. if he does not, you will do a low lk, which you can then combo from (depending on char).
  2. late tech. basically tech after the throw animation has started. this is a 100% guaranteed method to tech but requires that you have good reaction.
  3. when stuck in a c.jab block string, hit throw after every block. if your opponent messes up you will throw him; if he throws you, you will tech. timing might be tricky.

again these are all very vulnerable to a walk up dp or walk back throw/ combo. observe your opponents tendencies.

If you really want to learn defend yourself on wakeup start playing Vega, without a trace of doubt the weakest character on this matter. Even his EX Moves are useless on wakeup, and his backflips, either the long or the short one, can lead to a potential disaster if you don’t use it wisely or abuse them…

Sakura has a nice tool to escape heavy wake-up situations against Elf, Akuma, Zangief…or any opponent who is trying to cross up for that matter.

She can LP Shou and usually reset herself.

Yeah, there is a general strategy to escaping pressure wake-up situations, but it’s all about finding the right move that your char has.