The Wakeup Game

I’ll preface by saying that I’m not sure this is worth it’s own thread, but I don’t think there’s any thread which really suits the discussion.

I wanted to talk about Abel’s okizeme game. In my opinion, it’s a third of his game, and part of the holy Abel trinity of footsies, wakeup and confusing people.

Maj recently said this on Sonic Hurricane;

Mago also commented on Abel’s strong choices on a knockdown after playing a huge set against Shiro.

So Abel has a good oki game. We know he has lots of options, and we all know how to execute most of them, but here’s the problem; invulnerable reversals. Abel has something like 8-10 choices on an opponent’s wakeup if you count crossups and overheads and whatnot as distinct. It’s impressive. But some characters (you know who) have an answer which effectively cancels out 5 of them at once. They reduce your options to block, roll, jump, do something and risk a hit.

At lower levels, the late crossup counters the uppercuts well, but I want to move beyond that. It’s easily countered if they see it coming and you can’t use it every single time against someone who knows what’s going on, so lets put it aside for the purposes of this discussion.

The basic question - which will hopefully lead to some good information which can be added to the matchup descriptions in the matchup thread - is how do you maintain your pressure after you score a knockdown against characters with incredibly strong and safe wakeup options such as Dragon Punch, Air Jordan, Cannon Spike or Tiger Uppercut? How do you disguise your intentions to confuse the opponent into making a wrong choice? How do you make the most of your hard earned knockdown?

I’m sick of missing out on the huge opportunities a knockdown presents, and I’m sick of losing the initiative and momentum in a match because I put someone with a 3 frame DP on their back, so lets hear your approaches to making sure people are terrified of eating your throw or sweep.

When the opponent is down and about to wakeup, from Abel’s range:

A. > lk wheel kick
B. > lk/mk roll > throw
C. j. mk crossup >
C1. TT
C2. cr.lp > TT
C3. > cod combo
D. dash >
D1. TT
D2. cr.lp > TT
D3. > st.hp cod combo
D4. lk roll > TT/ block/ cr. hp combo / roll *dash > lk roll from about 3 character’s range
E. walk & block
F. Neutral > > cod combo
G. Foucs Attack
G1. Lv3 crumple ( > dash in combo)
G2. Lv2 dash back/ forward > throw / roll
H. Ambiguous roll

abel does have a hell of a lot of offensive options on your opponents wakeup, but he also always has the potential to get randomed by a dragon punch or other reversal. It’s impossible to know what the opponent is going to do on their wakeup, which is why when playing abel, you really have to be able to read your opponent and assess their wakeup patterns and tendancies. against lower skilled players, baiting and punishing random moves is pretty effective, because they tend to throw them out a lot. abel can’t afford to telegraph moves and fall into predictable patterns, so you have to get really abstract with his mixups. with abel’s options, odds are in your favor on opponents wakeup, but if you do predictable things that everybody has seen before, they’ll know what you’re about to do, so you have to be constantly fresh w/ ur tricks so that your opponent is always caught off-guard and has no idea how you’re going to approach them. be aggressive, don’t fall into patterns, and gain an understanding of your opponents tendancies is the best way to capitalize on a knockdown imo

All good suggestions IMO, used sparingly. I think the key… is quick pressure. By that, I mean that most people who get knocked down see the opponent advance and prepare for an attack, whether that’s a cross up, or a grab, etc it’s somewhat easy to predict if you’ve been paying attention to your opponent. So what I try and do is use a mix of very fast options and the always fun “mindgames” on an opponent. Staying about a half a screen away and then rolling on your opponents wake up is one of the best options at keeping them off guard. 1. You’re often too far for them to react with a random DP thinking you’ll attack. 2. You have the option of placing yourself in front of someone or behind them with a cross-up. One some occasions I’ll charge a focus attack from max distance, and cancel into a roll very late, and while I may get caught on occasion if often puts the player on a train of thought that you’ll cancel it again, which is when you go into a lvl 3 for a quick crumple.

From all of those options listed (Which I still think are really good) there’s 3 basic options: Hit, grab, or bait a whiffed move on wakeup. Like you said, a DP can stop 50% of that, so the point is to be quick and creative and mess with the players head. I think if you can bait that DP and punish it with a light TT, there’s a really good chance they won’t try it again. That depends on player skill, of course.

Here’s a fun thing to do: Try getting a knockdown with a TT, and then doing a wheel kick that lands RIGHT when they hit their feet. See how often people can react to that and you’d be surprised.

I ambiguous roll all day and mix it up with TT, block, cr.hp (especially on characters who can’t punish aka sagat), if they try to throw get the knockdown again from st.fp and start over again

Just think once you clearly bait a SRK like the kid goes sky high over your head and you punish them hard they are scared to throw out another DP on wake up for a long time

I used to be a huge advocate of the Shiro Roll, but ambiguous roll into just about anything loses to cr.jab x10,000 from most characters.

Against most Shoto-type characters, I usually bait an SRK with a lk. Roll then > CoD to counter. It only takes once for most to learn that lesson so the very next knockdown is usually a hk Roll > TT as they try to avoid my bait.

Ya it’s a pretty predictable pattern if I play that person again, but it’s a simple option to take off half of their life and instill a little hesitation.

I’ve been experimenting with the roll mix ups lately as my > s.Hp link has gotten solid but I get thrown a lot so I’m excited to see what other options people post.

I forgot to put something I do once a while is an empty jump > grab.
And for the new Abel players, I strongly suggest we gotta learn how tolate crossup wake up DP/ SBK.
Doesn’t mean we do that all day, just letting the opponet think again b4 they do that.

not if it’s timed correctly

i have thoughts(havent tested them yet),against shotos(except gouki he has that teleport lol), lets say after a TT I walk/dash towards them just outside range and do a and then whiff a s.lp to bait a reversal shoryu, i wonder how that will work to fool them into thinkin that i might stick out something that will get hit by a reversal shoryu…

rolling seems like one of his better okizeme tools if used properly… ive fought a few good abels and they love doing meaty attacks too, and they made me not want to jump away/backdash away with attacks that will catch me if i try to do so… and when i stop doing so, its TT and all over again… its all about getting inside of your opponent’s head in the end…

I think that’s one of the reasons Akuma is so hard to really get at as you really can’t scare the christ out of him on his wake up; you end up trying to bait out a teleport and eating an uppercut.

My favourite favourite thing to do vs anyone not named abel, honda, bison or akuma is, after a full cod knockdown, just medium kick roll right next to them.
Hanging out a meaty to mp.cod is the BEST way to land an ultra.
There’s only a few ways out of it which is either shoryuken, cr.block or backdash.
They do anything else and they’re eating an ultra.
Mix that up with overhead, [ex] tt, tick dash throws and you can really out think the guy without reverting to parlour tricks.

I cry a little every time I see an abel just stand there when they score a knockdown.