The Combo Conundrum


A lot of players who rank over say, 2000pp tend to start to split into two distinct categories.
The first one being the kind of player who really tries hard to combo and link moves. The second being the kind of player who doesn’t really focus on learning, or mastering combos, but tends to keep it simple, defensive yet smart with regard to reacting when the opponent makes a mistake for a simple but strong punish.

I’m bringing this up because I just watched a 2000pp Ken pull of some nice combos, and FADC into ultra 1 to win a match against a very decent opponent. I can’t do that in a live match environment as of yet, but I still dominated him when we played. I’m definitely more on the second kind of player though I’m trying to incorporate the more technical aspect to my game as well.

The question is, apart from say learning a BnB combo do you really need to go in depth to be better at the game?


A.) Player maximizes damage off of opponents’ mistakes.
B.) Player … doesn’t maximize damage off of opponents’ mistakes.

You can keep it simple and stay away from styling combos, but you’ll need to look into the hardest punishing combos. Of course, you don’t need to learn that particular combo that does 20 more damage off of a one frame link…but sometimes that 20 damage is the difference between winning and losing.


Character dependant, but to me it feels like you are distancing yourself from those who actively try and learn combos, aka domination 101 territory

There is absolutely no reason to gimp yourself, say play Akuma/Oni without doing the correct combo depending on if they are standing/crouching, or being an Abel unable to do f+mk st.hp link.

Punishing as hard as possible is MAJOR for mix-up characters, because they are playing the risk-reward gamble, and except for reads and option selects maximizing the punishment is extremely important. It’s pure math,

If you put someone in a 50/50 where you are yourself unsafe afterwards, if your gain from hitting is 300ish damage, and the opponent only punishes for 100 damage, then that is a risk very well worth taking.

You will have a hard time stopping people from repeatedly take risks against you unless you punish them hard enough. It’s just like if they don’t respect your anti air game, and have a decent chance of landing a huge combo, and you hit them with like, Juri for 60 (70?) damage half of the time, half you just eat the jumpin.


Charlie Murphy: Player B is the weaker fighter, Player B needs combo’s


Fundamentals are more important than combos, but you’ll need both to be good. You know what they say, knowledge is power.