This Feels Different... OLD Abel Match Theory Thread




So here’s how I wanna do this:

I’m gonna break this all down into specific match-ups, and I wanna get as in-depth as necessary for the matches. This will constantly get updated with good information, so it’s not such a search to find good shit.

If you have really good info, it’ll go into the first post.



HAV says…

Basic Strategy
Get your shit off first. Abel’s reversal options are pretty bad, so you definitely don’t want to be put on the defensive. Get out there early and keep pressure up. Look out for TT’s (Normal or EX). In a lot of situations, they’re gonna be Abel’s best defensive option. As we all know, TT is heavily punishable when whiffed, so look to bait it from time to time. I like to neutral jump, because it’s a good way to avoid TT, while only leaving a small window for the opposing Abel to escape/reverse.

Obviously, if both Abel’s take the above advice, somebody is going to be forced to go on defense. When Abel is coming at you, just relax. He’s not doing anything you don’t know about (more than likely).

I’m normally willing to take the risk of trying to EX Roll out of almost any reversal situation. Sure, it loses to throws, but I’ll risk taking a throw if it means I can get out on a successful guess. You’ve gotta try something, and it’s a much less risky option than EX TT (which is what most Abel’s seem to go for more often). I’d rather risk eating a throw, than risk eating neutral jump RH-> big combo, that’s gonna put me right back into the same situation.

Special Notes
Umm… nothing really. It’s Abel. You should already know…

A Drop of Juice



HAV says…

Basic Strategy
Shit… Long range, you lose. Mid range, you lose. Close range, he teleports. Fuck.

Fuck it. Go in. Not that this is a winning strategy, but it’s my current take on the Akuma fiight. Again, long range, you’ve got nothing really. Mid range, you’re gonna get raped by s. RH. You have no answer for it. Even neutral jumping it doesn’t really work too well. Akuma has the advantage from every angle here, IMO. The biggest thing you have to remember in this fight is just that you have a lot of life, and he doesn’t. You’re going to take damage, since he outclasses you from every point on the screen. Don’t just sacrifice that damage. Use every opportunity to get close. Whenever you’re able to get close to Akuma and put him on the defensive, just know that unless you’ve managed to push him into the corner (a pretty tough task), he’s got multiple viable options for reversal, and he’s pretty much gonna use one.

That means, you might as well not even attempt grab set-ups. It’s a waste of a decent opportunity. You’re gonna eat a DP, or he’s gonna slide up out of there. My general thought process goes like this… whenever I’m facing a Shoto, my major goal is to make them nervous, and bait a DP. Now, Akuma’s aren’t gonna go for DP’s early on, because they can teleport out, and regain control of the match for free. They keep composure. So, when I create a point-blank opportunity, my next move is to cover the teleport. I’ll get to point blank, and just do RH Roll. Fuck it. Punish that shit hard.

Now, again, this loses to throw, of course. It also just wastes an up-close opportunity if they just block… but they’re not gonna just block, more than likely. To me, it’s a chance you have to take. I’ve said it before, but I believe the mark of a good Abel is in the Abel’s ability to defer to the opponent on an opportunity. It’s not about brute force. It’s not about overwhelming rushdown. SF4 is too slow of a game, and Abel’s moves are too slow to come out for that to work. You have to create a situation, and plan for the likely counter. In this case, again, unless Akuma already has his back to the wall, cover the teleport.

This will open up a second layer mindgame for the next reversal opportunity Akuma gets (which will be right after you punish the teleport). At this point, you can work whatever your normal Abel mindfuck shit is. After you’ve compromised the teleport, Akuma becomes what I like to call a “fuckable character”. It’s how I think of Ryu and Sagat. I think Abel loses the fights (Ryu, more so than Sagat), but I think if he can get the opponent nervous, he can run through them. The challenge lies in challenging their comfort level.

So anyway, yeah… Punish teleport… Akuma becomes a much easier character to deal with at that point. Still really hard. Without teleport, he still has options, and if he manages to land a DP, he can resume his keepaway or mid range pressure game. You’re gonna lose that. Just make sure you take every opportunity you get, to hit Akuma as hard as you can, and keep him in the vortex for a little while.

Now, speaking of vortex, while I think smart Akuma’s will stay away from Abel, it’s not like Akuma loses to Abel at close range. Akuma can play that game too. If you eat a s. RH at mid range, you’re gonna get knocked down, and you’re gonna have to deal with j. RH/cross-up Hurricane/cross-up Forward mix-ups. Umm… as far as I know, there’s no easy way out. There’s no great move we have, and there’s no option select that I know of that covers multiple options. You just have to block, or look for a mistake by Akuma, so you can roll out. Now, I’ve been playing SF way too long, and I don’t really get hit by Akuma’s shit too much, but I don’t know how good the Akuma’s I’m playing really are. But, just generally, I don’t get crossed up. I’m pretty good at reading whether or not a move will cross me up, looking at jump trajectory, the take-off point, and, in this case, whether Akuma starts spinning (cross-up Hurricane). If you’re not very good at that yet, start to look at where your opponent jumps from. Learn the ranges. Now, good opponents will make that very hard. In that case… fuck it. Pick a side to block, and hope.

Then there’s also Dive Kick pressure. Good Dive Kick pressure is tough to deal with. He’s got so many options. If you’re playing a reckless Akuma, there will be gaps for you to respond with neutral jump RH or ROLL OUT, like Ludacris.

That’s against shitty Akuma’s.

Against good ones, you’re not gonna have that kind of luck. I’ll have to get back to you guys on that one…

At the end of the day, you lose, so don’t play scared. Try to keep momentum for as long as you can, but do it intelligently. The best way to keep momentum against characters with excellent reversal options, again, is to understand that they are going to use them. Account for them, and keep control.


OK… so mind you… I haven’t been playing SF4 at all, but I did play for a week before NEC, because I was going to go, but then got lazy… anyway… I had been thinking about the Akuma fight off-and-on since I stopped playing, and developed a different idea about the fight, which… well… it was working on PSN Akumas during that one week I was playing…

So yeah, disclosure aside, here’s my plan. Keep what I said before… I still like it, but here’s how you deal with Akuma’s offense.


Yep. Genius, right? I posted it somewhere in this thread, but I want to put it here for posterity. On the ground, Akuma’s shit isn’t that damn tough to just block. Roundhouse pressure… meh. Just block. It’s so much harder to win when you try to reverse what’s happening to you, when, in reality… nothing is really happening to you. SF4 does not have a guard bar… there’s no reason to act like it does. Blocking is way less risky, takes less meter, and is a lot easier to do than trying to squeeze in some shit like EX TT/CoD in a tight-ass string, that might not even have Akuma in throw range, or might hit twice to nullify the EX CoD… whatever. Akuma’s offense does pretty much zero damage until he’s able to land a hit. His shit really isn’t that tricky on the ground, so there’s no reason to give it more credit than it really deserves. Block it out, and force him to start trying to throw you. Once Akuma has to throw, those holes that you’re trying to squeeze through but aren’t really there now? Yeah… those open up. He has to walk all the way up to you somehow.

Now, Akuma can still control that mix-up. Honestly though, I can’t think of any Akuma’s in the States that can work a good up-close Counter-Hit/Throw mix-up… because nobody fucking makes them. They just give away free damage.

So yeah, block. Late-tech, when he tries to throw. Or if you are feeling a little more brave, you can start to squeeze in TTs, or try to get a Low Jab off before he gets to you, and push him away or combo s. FP xx CoD, or whatever.

This manor of defense is so much easier, and, in my limited experience, much more effective than getting all antsy, and trying to force your way out through gaps that don’t even exist.

A Drop of Juice



HAV says…

Basic Strategy
The Rog match is another fight largely based on momentum. If you can get a knockdown, you can make it very hard on Rog, since he has limited wake-up options. If Rog can knock you down, Abel’s limited reversal options make it easy for Rog to maintain pressure and bait escape attempts to punish.

Because of this nature, some people believe this is a 5-5 match. I disagree because A) I think it’s easier for Rog to land his knockdown first, and B) I don’t think Rog needs to land the knockdown to win. Rog is in control of the fight from 99 Seconds. He’s just better at mid range. Footsies are great. Long range, quick pokes dominate Abel, and force him into situation where he has to try to focus/EX CoD/Roll/Jump. All of this plays into Rog’s hands (gloves?).

That being the case, my general approach to this fight is to start off kinda far away, and wait for Rog to lose patience. Lesser Rog players will start to do stupid stuff like jump (Low forward that shit), or just try to rush their way in with random Dash punches. If you have bar, you can EX CoD through these if you like (they’re more than likely not going to be going for the Armor Breaking ones at first) to get your knockdown. At that point, you can control the fight.

Against Rog’s that don’t suck, this is obviously going to be harder. A really good Rog understands that the onus is really on you to take risks in this match. I can’t really help with this, honestly. You just have to figure out the best way to get in on your opponent. Maybe throw in some Wheel Kicks to keep your opponent guessing… I don’t know. Rog can cover all of Abel’s best pressuring options, if he’s got the eye for it. But, nobody’s perfect. I like to focus at mid range, and hope Rog gives me something to crumple. This can work, but not consistently. What it does do, often times, is take the Rog’s mind off of what I’m doing to get close, and I can often fake a couple of focuses, and use some other method to get it. Dash, roll, Wheel Kick, whatever. Once you’re inside… see what you can do. There’s nothing really special up close for you to do. Well, Rog’s do mash jab, so EX TT is a move I use in this fight (it’s generally not a move I use too much in most other fights). Obviously it carries a large risk, so use it accordingly. But… it gets you your knockdown, and, to me, that’s worth the risk. Once you get your knockdown, the fun can start.

Rog’s wake-up options kinda suck. The ones you’re going to see the most are wake-up block (his best option, IMO. It’s what I’d use if I used Rog), Headbutt, EX Headbutt, or wake-up mash jab. He’s got a three frame jab, so you have to respect it somewhat.

His fastest Headbutt is 8 frames, but it loses invincibility after 7 frames. Now, it still works as a good reversal, since moves in SF4 have no active frames. It can be difficult to time things meaty to stuff headbutt. So… you generally don’t want to do that. What you’re looking to do, is time moves meaty, that will recover before the 8th frame. Low jab is your move for this. When timed properly, you can have your low jab hit Rog as he rises, and have 6 frames recovery after that. So you’ll force him into block stun if he chooses to block. You’ll stuff him if he comes up mashing jab. If he attempts a Jab Headbutt (his fastest one), you will recover before it’s active, and you can block and punish. Low Jab is your only ground move that can do all that. Low Short is good too, but even if timed perfectly, it can lose to Jab Headbutt. It would require a frame-perfect reversal (which isn’t all that hard in SF4…). Safe jumping is also good here. Serves the same purpose, and creates longer block stun.

From here, obviously, you can go for tick throws, frame traps, whatever.

Special Notes

  • Get good at reacting to overhead attempts. His safest one leaves him at -5. That’s free TT to punish.
  • Once Rog goes on the offensive, it can get rough. Just understand your situation, and figure out what’s most important in your scenario. Can you afford to try to block and wait it out, and maybe eat a throw or two? Is your opponent going to stagger his Low Jab/walk-up pressure well enough to prevent escape? Are they smart enough to try to bait out TT’s?
  • Max range sweeps on Rog’s wake-up can be good. Pepper that in from time to time.
  • Max range sweeps in footsies are not good. Avoid them. Basically, if you’re at a range where you think a sweep looks good, so is Rog. His is better. Don’t even try it.
  • Also, this: [media=youtube]_yiwJA2vyvc&[/media] (credit Busta, obv)

A Drop of Juice

Enemy Territory

SRK Front Page, and the Community's Lack of Knowledge



HAV says…

Basic Strategy
I used to think this match was 3-7, and Abel’s 2nd worse fight, but I don’t think it’s that bad anymore. I still think Bison wins it, but not as easily.

In this fight, smart Bison’s will look to keep you out with s. RH and s. FK. They’ll run away with Devil’s Reverses. When you get in, they’ll be looking to teleport for the most part. These are all somewhat tough to deal with. What you’re looking to do, is wait him out. Inch your way in when he’s trying to run away. There’s only so much real estate on the screen. He can only back away for so long. Once he has to stop running away, he’s gotta start pressing buttons. Now, Bison’s buttons are better than yours. At mid-range, you’ve got no normal answer for Forward or Roundhouse. You do have options though. You can get in either through EX CoD, Short Roll or just jump. Bison’s stand Roundhouse is 24 frames start to finish. Short Roll is 27. That’s good enough to get from far out to roll just outside of throw range. From here, you can go for cross ups or whatever. Once you’ve managed to get him to block something, his reversal options aren’t the greatest. He has options, but they can be covered.

After a cross-up, the only thing you really have to worry about as a reversal is teleport. You gotta figure, you just crossed him up, he doesn’t have charge for EX PC, and you just jumped on him, and if he blocked, he doesn’t have charge for EX Stomp/Reverse, unless you hit him… in which case… combo him up.

So yeah, after a cross-up, it’s a pretty safe gamble to attempt a TT. He’s usually either gonna get thrown, or he’s gonna teleport out. You can usually sneak one in there. If he gets out, whatever… work your way back in.

Once you get your knockdown, his reversal options are a lot more robust. Look for EX Stomp/Reverse, EX Psycho Crusher, or teleport.

There’s two things that I generally do on Bison’s wake-up. Option 1 is… nothing. I just crouch block. This really covers all of his likely options fairly well, except EX Reverse. EX PC? Block and Punish. EX Stomp? Dash back, punish. Teleport? Shit is 42 frames, last 13 completely punishable. Watch for it, get over there and punish. EX Reverse? Ok… you’re out. Good shit.

My other option on Bison’s wake-up is just to crouch next to Bison, then jump forward as he rises on his wake-up. This option covers EX Stomp/Reverse (jump FP), Teleport (land, sweep xx roll-> whatever). EX Crusher gets out.

When you have Ultra, ALWAYS be looking for teleports. I try to put Bison into situations where I can cross him up pretty freely. Once you get him scared, the teleport is coming. Ultra the shit out of it.

Special Notes

  • Blocked Psycho Crusher = free Ultra, for the most part.
  • If Bison goes for the follow up to the Headstomp, you can hit with Ultra, EX TT, or EX FS
  • Be on the lookout for poorly spaced Headstomps/Reverses when you have Ultra. Punish.
  • I find that Bison’s love throwing out two s. RH’s in a row. EX CoD.

Enemy Territory

Editor’s note: I found this just digging through forums. I don’t really know Kim, but I know he’s good enough to steal from :rofl:



HAV says…

Basic Strategy
I don’t really have any significant offline Blanka EXP, so I’ll keep this one brief. I basically look to get to mid range, and hope Blanka gets nervous and does something stupid (Ball, slide, jump, Rainbow…) so I can punish. If he doesn’t, then I try to get close and Step Kick into whatever.

When you get Ultra, you can completely stop giving a fuck, and go for whatever you want. As the game evolves, this match just seems to get easier and easier.

Of course… nobody uses Blanka, so it kinda doesn’t matter.

A Drop of Juice

C. Viper


HAV says…

Basic Strategy
I’ve been playing this fight a lot recently, and I was getting raped at first, but I’ve gotten a lot better at it recently. In this fight (as in most fights), you wanna get in and do your damage. This can be difficult against Viper. She’s got a super jump to get away, Seismos to control the ground, Fierce Thunder Knuckle to stop jump-in attempts. So what are you to do?

Look for opportunities to close the gap by rolling. Try to roll into Step Kick range, so you can start your offense. Now, Abel’s offense, in general, is about baiting reversals. This is especially true when dealing with Viper. Viper players love pressing buttons and wiggling the stick. Use this to your advantage. Get in via Step Kick, and roll behind, or get in and block (neutral jump won’t work to bait stuff. Air Jordan will catch you going up with Fierce TK). Punish hard. Again, once you’ve trained Viper to stop fucking mashing, she becomes much easier to deal with. Also, try to make sure you start off the match aggressively. Viper’s reversal options without meter are only decent, at best. You really only have to worry about Fierce TK, and Vipers could be wary about throwing that out, since it’s so damn punishable if they guess wrong. Use that to your advantage.

Of course, none of this is easy. Again, Viper can get away from you pretty easily. She can also close any gap there might be, and pressure you in the blink of an eye. Don’t ever let your guard down. Be on the lookout for any form of pressure. Seismos, TK BK’s, TK’s at mid range. They’re all very good options for her. Of course, she has her cross-up shenanigans with BK’s. Remember, you can focus those, and eliminate the guessing game. It’s not fool-proof, because you can wind up focusing the wrong way, but if you’re quick, you should be able to recognize your position and backdash out of most shit.

Viper’s offense is tough to deal with. All the feints, throw set ups, cross up set-ups, and long-ass combos, with everything leading to Ultra… it’s tough. Unfortunately, I’ve got no great catch-all answer for it all. Just pay attention. Most guys don’t have that many tricks. Look for holes. Punish or escape.

Air to air, Abel has an advantage on Viper, IMO. J. FP, j. FK and neutral jump RH/Short are all really good. In the fight. Air resets are great, because they allow you to exploit Vipers somewhat lacking reversal options. Take advantage of this. Again… it’s Viper. Viper players love doing moves. Make her pay.

At the end of the day, though, I think Viper has all sorts of tools to handle Abel. If not for the significant difference in stamina, I’d say Viper wins 6-4. The life differential is large though. You just don’t have to hit her that many times (of course, Viper does big damage herself, so neither does she). Between whatever you’re doing to control space, maybe getting one good mix-up, and maybe one focus crumple… bitch is dead. This brings the match closer to even, IMO.

A Drop of Juice



HAV says…

Basic Strategy
This is another fight I don’t have too much experience playing. As far as I know, Abel doesn’t have any really good answer for Cannon Strike pressure, just gotta deal with it. This can be tough. As Sanford showed at Evo, Cammy can mix up into and out of throw set-ups and punish attempts to deal with throws extremely hard. Abel has no really good offensive reversal, like a DP, that can deal with throw attempts as well as Cannon Strikes at once. You have to pick. That, alone, tips the scales of this fight in Cammy’s favor, IMO. Downbacking and trying to scout for grabs sounds good until you get hit with TK Strike -> big combo.

It’s not very hard for Cammy to get to point blank range. Especially when it’s your game to try to get there, yourself. When Cammy has two bars, it’s really fucking hard to do anything. Say you land a Step Kick, and you get to point blank. She can do Cannon Spike FADC, and all of a sudden, you’re in her mix-up. And her mix-up constantly leads back into itself.

Obviously, you can bait Spikes, and roll to punish, but that’s a pure guess, and one that can be punished if wrong, and punished… again… right into the mix-up you’re trying to avoid.

It’s tough.

That’s not to say Abel’s got nothing. That’s not true at all. Cammy isn’t that good at mid-range, so you can try to do what you do to get your damage off. Step Kick mix-ups are still good. Watch for Cammy’s back dash, and look out for Spikes. You can work your shit on Cammy as long as you account for these two things.

All in all, it is tough. Good Cammy’s will make you work really hard, and put you into really tough guessing situations. Not an impossible fight, but it’s not one that makes me feel comfortable.

UPDATE: When I was playing again, I feel like I made some slight, but significant progress defensively, and it applies to the Cammy fight, well. Just block low and late tech. This, alone, will stop 90% of Cammy’s in their tracks. Her offense is done. Don’t OS Tech… you can get fucked up for that. Just late tech.

Good Cammy’s will respond to this by just waiting longer to Spike/Strike. If you can get a Cammy to start doing this, and you recognize it, that just means they’re more susceptible for getting TT’d or jabbed out. Take advantage of this.

Small update, I know, but important, IMO.

A Drop of Juice

Enemy Territory


Chun Li


HAV says…

Basic Strategy
Nigga… I don’t know. When I’m pressuring Chun, between low Jab, EX SBK, and Back Dash, I just never feel good. Abel’s best option to cover a back dash, is just to dash with Chun. Abel’s forward dash covers a little more distance than Chun’s back dash, and he does it 6 frames quicker, so if you can catch Chun back dashing, and just dash into it, that’s free TT or Fierce xx whatever. Problem is, you can’t really react to it, then dash, and get anything, so you just have to do it on a hunch. This loses to mash jab, or EX SBK, which are 2 of Chun’s very likely responses to point blank pressure. You could try rolling, but that loses to back dash mash Jab, or throw. I could go on. My point is that in this fight, Abel is forced to pick options that only cover one of the opponent’s options, but loses to all likely others. In pressure situations that Abel works hard to create (because… and I haven’t even touched on this yet, it’s fucking hard to get in on Chun), he’s forced to guess with options that will only see him win out maybe a third of the time.

Again, this is all after even trying to get in, which is tough enough on its own. Chun owns Abel up at mid range. Stand Strong, Stand Fierce, Stand Roundhouse are all pretty tough to deal with. EX CoD is a tool here, but… I don’t know. Any match where I have to use this, I just don’t like it. Coming from CvS2, this, to me, is just like any random RC that you can neutral jump and punish hard. This is especially easy since Abel has no real mid range threat to neutral jumpers. It’s also easy because Chun knows this is your only truly threatening option, so she can scout it out. Not to mention it burns meter…

But whatever… at mid range, take it slow. I can’t teach anyone how to play footsies, but do your best. Pay close attention, and look for opportunities to roll or jump in. I know… easier said than done.

Then there’s Chun’s pressure game… Umm… again, Abel’s got no easy answer. You just have to deal with it all. Watch for tendencies and act accordingly.

When dealing with Chun’s High/Low/Throw okizeme pressure, I pretty much always opt to just block low. Her “high” option (jump back RH) even when it hits, has her just floating away. So she lands one hit… big deal. You can probably Ultra that shit, come to think of it…

If she throws me, that sucks, but I can accept that. Taking hits low is just bad. Good damage. Leads right back into itself. Can lead into Ultra.

But yeah… I lose this fight pretty consistently. Hopefully somebody else can shed some light on this, that I might be missing.

A Drop of Juice

Enemy Territory



HAV says…
Nothing. I know nothing about this fight. I’ve fought it a handful of times. I’m gonna pass off on this one.

A Drop of Juice

Enemy Territory



HAV says…

Basic Strategy
Jump for joy. Abel wins a fight against a character that actually matters. In this fight, I’m basically looking to push Sim towards the corner. Rolling, focusing, EX CoD (abusable, in this fight)… just bully him into the corner. From there, Sim really has nothing. Stay close, and keep him from really doing anything, with a barrage of Step Kicks, s. Strongs, s. RH, whatever the hell you want, really. Keep an eye out for Sim trying to IAT out of the corner. When I see this, I respond with s. FP xx Short Roll. It knocks Sim out of the air, and you roll behind Sim to put his ass back in the corner. No escape.

Jumping in on Sim isn’t too smart, so keep it to the ground. Really, just bully him. Be on the lookout for back dashes and teleports, and punish them.

Seeing is Believing


A Drop of Juice

E. Honda


HAV says…
I only face shitty PSN Honda’s, so I don’t really have any info. Sorry.

I know JBA and Strider both play against Honda’s, so I’ll have to defer to them

A Drop of Juice

El Fuerte

[details=Spoiler]HAV says…

Basic Strategy
This is probably another fight I shouldn’t be commenting on too much, but I’ll give my impressions anyway. Another momentum-based fight, Fuerte/Abel is interesting. If Fuerte knocks you down, it can get rough. Maybe I just suck, but I can’t seem to react to anything Fuerte does on my wake-up. I don’t read… yeah, I just guess. I don’t know the names of Fuerte’s moves, so forgive me, but between the splashes, slide, the grab from the air, and just run-up grab, I stay in the mix. Abel’s reversal options leave much to be desired here.

Focusing will punish splash and slide really hard, and back dashing will allow you to escape the air grabby thing, but if you guess wrong, you’re put right back into the mix. Basically you’ve got to guess right. If you’re smart, you can layer your guessing, and influence Fuerte’s next actions. Obviously, this is player-dependent, so make sure you’re paying attention to what Fuerte’s doing, and why you think he’s doing it (unless the Fuerte is just randomly spinning the wheel… then… just guess… fuck it).

Anyway, waking up is rough against Fuerte, so that brings in the obvious point… don’t get knocked down. So how do you do this? Well, this is tough too. I’ve tried to think about what exactly is happening that is causing me to get knocked down, and I think I figured it out. It’s over-aggression. It’s easy to look at Fuerte, and say “he’s got no good reversal options… I’m just gonna go in”. If you do that, a good Fuerte will take that aggression, and use one of Fuerte’s escape tools to get out, BUT turn it right back on you.


If you watch that match (and, yeah, it’s 3 months old, but I somehow doubt the Abel/Fuerte match has evolved too much since then… It has to be one of the least played fights in the game), you can see how Shiro winds up with the win. He stops being aggressive with brute force, and starts doing what Abel is supposed to do, and overwhelms up to a point where there’s sure to be a counter, then defers, and let’s TKD fuck himself up by trying one of his attacks. TKD’s shit is like Bruce Lee. He’s trying to find places to turn Shiro’s aggression against himself. Before long, Shiro realizes this, and throws it right back on him. Instead of dashing in, looking for TT’s, Shiro starts going for normal throws, which will still catch the same reversal options TT will, but it recovers quicker, so it won’t lose to the same options that TT will. Shiro starts to create opportunities that he has no intention of capitalizing on.


Here, he’s able to roll into prime Step Kick range, which is a great move to land on Fuerte, because it pushes to point blank (and in this case would have pushed to point blank, very close to the corner, limiting Fuerte’s escape options), where Fuerte’s weaknesses can be exploited. Instead of committing to Step Kick (24 frames from start to finish), which would wind up losing to the likely counter of run back-> air grabby thing (I know this, because I’ve gotten my Step Kick countered by this 54932564902358425 times), he decided to neutral jump, allow TKD to commit to his counter, and punished that hard. That’s smart Abel play.

Once you’ve got Fuerte knocked down, he has right about zero threatening wake-up options. He’s got some that can get him away, but nothing that’s gonna hurt you. Take advantage of that. Press him on his wake-up. Try to shorten this fight as much as you can. Nobody likes dealing with shenanigans for too long.

But yeah… this is my overall take on the fight… as of right this second. I seriously just figured most of this out just now, as I was writing it. I knew this thread would come in handy.[/details]

Fei Long





[details=Spoiler]HAV says…

Basic Strategy
Umm… this is really another match I don’t know a whole lot about. I know… I suck. There just really aren’t a lot of Gen’s out there… and most of the ones I play, I don’t really respect enough to try to learn while playing. They don’t even know why they do half that hot-ass shit they do.

So, basically, my Gen experience that I actually count comes down to the 20-30 matches I’ve played against Jibbo.

Anyway, this is another match where I feel pretty off-balance for the majority of the time. I try to stay at mid-range, and look for a chance to close ground, but I normally wind up getting inpatient, and jump in, just to get my face tap-danced on. So don’t do that.

Again, mid-range footsies is the name of this game. And again… I can’t teach you how to play footsies, but do it.

You main goals at mid range should be to find opportunities to roll, sweep, or jump in. Make sure to look for Gen to maybe get inpatient and jump in. If you’re range properly, you can AA him. If you’re not ranged too well, you can still do alright for yourself. If you recognized the jump early enough (this can be hard. Gen has the quickest jump in the game), sometimes it can be a good idea to just roll. It’s similar to what I described skisonic does to me in the Fuerte match. He turns my aggression into his opportunity. If Gen gets bored, and jumps in, a Short/Forward Roll (depending on spacing, obviously) can take away Gen’s chance at applying pressure, and leave you in perfect range to Step Kick or whatever. Now, note… this isn’t a really good tactic once used a few times, but it is a good surprise.

Now, Gen has options to deal with Abel rushdown. His main 3 options are DP, back dash, and EX Oga. The best of which, EX Oga, requires charge, so you won’t have to deal with this one outside of wake-up situations most of the time. Treat Gen’s DP like you would any other early in a fight. Know it’s there, be wary of it… but don’t back down because of it. Later in a fight, don’t show it the same respect that you would another DP, because I’m pretty sure Gen can’t FADC his. So he can’t make it safe. It’s just not gonna come out that much. Like any other DP, style on that shit one time, and you won’t see it again for a minute… with Gen, you might not see it again until the next match.

So… your main deterrent here is back dash. Gen’s backdash is really good. Longest back dash in the game. So Gen is out of there. But… it’s still just a back dash. Treat it like you would any other, and once you’ve compromised his other options, you can put Gen on a back dash pretty easily. Plan, and punish.

Once you’ve got Gen in the mix, and you score a knockdown, you can pressure him until he gets meter, but when he has meter… he’s pretty much out of there with EX Oga. Depending on where you’re at on the screen you can try to jump back with Gen to position yourself well for when he comes off the wall. It’s almost a lost cause pressuring his wake-up, so might as well plan for the next move.

Now… it doesn’t hurt to try to pressure Gen’s wake-up when he has meter, because, again… you should be able to get the DP out of the equation early… all you’re “worried” about is EX Oga, and that doesn’t hurt, so you can try to go for something… just know there’s a good chance you’re gonna whiff, but you’ll be safe, unless you go for a TT very close to the corner, I suppose.

All in all, another tough fight. Make the most of the opportunities you get, and you can win this fight fairly consistently. This is another fight wherein I think Abel loses the battle of tools, but the difference in stamina and damage output brings it a lot closer to even. Just go hurt him.

Enemy Territory



[details=Spoiler]HAV says…

I think this fight is pretty free. Now… I have yet to play a Gouken that I actually considered to be “good”, so maybe I’m missing a whole bunch of layers to the fight, but… Gouken is just easy. To this day, I’ve only lost one match against Gouken ever. Seriously.

So… why is it free? Well, it’s free because Gouken has no defense against Abel. Gouken can’t zone Abel at all with fireballs, so the game gets to mid-range very quickly. At mid-range, the fight seems pretty even in terms of the tools each character has. Gouken’s problem here, IMO, is that all of Abel’s options at mid-range, if successful, lead to more and more threatening shit. At mid range, I’m either landing a Step Kick, I’m sweeping, I’m doing EX CoD… something that’s gonna cause more problems for Gouken. At mid-range, Gouken is just trying to fend me off with normals. That can work for a while, but damn sure won’t work for too long. At some point, I’m gonna get that Step Kick (either hit or block, I don’t care), EX CoD (again… hit or block, I don’t really care) or land that sweep. At that point, I’m in there, and Gouken’s lack of good reversals is on full display. Play this fight just like you would fight anybody else without a good reversal. Pressure all day. Now Gouken does have counters, and after getting fucked up enough (or upon remembering getting fucked up by some other Abel), he’s gonna use it. Lucky for you, you can just grab that shit, and that’s gonna be peppered into your mix-up anyway… so yeah.

If Gouken somehow manages to knock you down (how?), he has shenanigans that can be tough to deal with… but I just don’t see how Gouken lands this knockdown. Only way Gouken can kinda land knockdowns in this fight is through counters, and those send you flying so you don’t even have to deal with his okizeme pressure.

Yeah… pretty free.

Enemy Territory



[details=Spoiler]HAV says…

…if not worse. This is another pretty free fight, IMO. Now, Guile does have great tools to keep Abel out. Sonic Boom is actually useful in this fight since it recovers so quickly. Guile can retaliate on attempts to move around Booms in ways that other fireballers can’t. Guile’s AA is very solid, and crossing Guile up can be a little tricky too, if your opponent knows all of his options. Between Flash Kick, low fierce, and air throw, Guile can put up a decent little wall. Tough to deal with… but… not that damn tough. So, you might take some damage coming in… that’s fine. Once you get past Guile’s line of defense, and get to a point where you can get a Step Kick blocked… wrap that shit up, B. It’s the same refrain as always… Guile has one decent reversal (not really decent at all against cross-ups)… do your work to punish and prevent Flash Kick from coming out, when you approach from the front. After you’ve neutralized Flash Kick, Guile is free. Land a knockdown. Cross him up every single time you knock him down. There’s no reason not to. He can’t do shit about it. Stay on him… throw him around… do what you feel like doing. He can’t do much to stop it. Guile has to take big risks in this fight to even keep it competitive. That bodes well for you in the long run.

As for what you need to look for from Guile… umm… nothing? All Guile’s have a couple cute little gimmicks, but that shit won’t go far at all. Figure out whatever little nonsense your opponent is running, then stomp on it. Don’t let up. Easy operation.

Seeing is Believing


[details=Spoiler]HAV says…

This is another fight I have trouble with. Luckily, nobody plays Ken… so I don’t have to deal with it much. This section would pretty much just be a “How to beat Dr. Chaos” section, because he’s the only Ken in the US, as far as I’m concerned. I played him back in May, I think, and he made me look silly :sad:

Other Ken’s… not so much.

But yeah, this fight is rough because just… Ken’s natural game covers all of Abel’s weaknesses, IMO. This is just like a normal Shoto fight in terms of how you want to play your offense. The bigger issue here, is dealing with Ken’s shit. At mid-range, Ken has auto-footsies with his Step Kick, and everything he’s doing is for either the purpose of knocking you down, or putting you into a point-blank guessing situation. Essentially, his goals are the exact same as yours… just he has slightly better tools to get to his goals, and once he reaches his goals, his options are a little better, IMO. Your major threats in this match-up are Ken’s Step Kick and Low Forward from mid-range… then, in close, you have to worry about DP (obviously), stand Jab, throw, and kara-throw.

At mid-range, you’re worried about Step Kick because it establishes closer range, at which Ken is dangerous. It’s an automatic mix-up, where you have to choose to defend throw, stand Jab, maybe low Short, and DP. Now DP isn’t the greatest option, but it can still come out enough to keep you on your toes. Throw speaks for itself. Stand Jab is horrible for Abel (on hit or block) because obviously, on hit, Ken links Low Forward xx EX Hurricane to get back into point blank range at +1. If you block Stand Jab, you’re now in a mix to frame trap with stuff like Low Strong/Low Forward, or kara throw. It’s really tough to deal with… and all of this shit leads back into itself.

In this fight, your offense is also pretty shitty, IMO, because it plays directly into Ken’s hands. If you get Ken to block a Step Kick and you dash in, he can respond with just Stand Jab, and that will beat a TT attempt (into low forward xx EX Hurricane… etc), give him the advantage if you choose to block, trade with a frame-perfect s. FP (which is a pretty shitty option for you to throw out on a blocked Step Kick anyway…), beat low Short, beat Low Jab, beat overhead, beat a cute little Step Kick-> dash-> roll behind/jump set-up… It really beats anything except Step Kick-> Dash-> EX TT or maybe Dash-> EX CoD (which is a remarkably shitty option anyway, and one you should never use, since if Ken just blocks, you’re fucked). So you have to commit to EX TT out of your pressure situations to beat… Stand Jab. That sucks.

But wait! You have hope. This is where you bring in… wait for it…


I know a lot of you guys don’t see a use for it… well here it is. Normal throw is, in fact, Abel’s fastest move, and exactly what you want to use on Ken in pressure situations to set the tone, IMO. Because if I’m Ken, playing against Abel, I’m running Stand Jab all day long until you show me you know how to beat it. If you normal throw Ken once or twice, you’ve now opened up your offense. He can’t just run one move out there and beat all of your shit.

So, now there’s a fight. I still think Ken wins the fight, because his offense exploits Abel’s weaknesses so hard, but it’s your job to out-space Ken, and make it difficult for him to get into the spots he wants to occupy. AA him. Every time he jumps… you have to. You can’t let him establish close-range. If the fight gets close, it has to be on your terms.

Don’t jump on him… it’s pretty pointless. Strong DP owns you. Stay on the ground (despite the fact that Ken beats you on the ground) and fight it out. Whenever you get a knockdown, do whatever you can to do as much damage as possible. This is a fight where Ken has the advantage, and will slowly wear you down, until he can get where he wants, start landing EX Hurricane, and kill you. You’ve gotta take rounds with 2-3 openings. That’s it. Can’t draw it out. You will lose.



Soul Fuck



[details=Spoiler]HAV says…

Basic Strategy
This can be an interesting fight. Rufus is a character you want to rush down to a certain point, but you have to respect EX Messiah. At the same time, Rufus can come at Abel pretty relentlessly, and Abel’s lack of really good reversal options can be a huge problem in the fight. Rufus is annoying.

The way I play this fight, I start off aggressively. You want to take the life lead early, and do as much damage as you can before Rufus gets meter. Before Rufus has meter, he’s just a really big character with shitty reversal options. Take advantage of that. Get into Step Kick range, make him block something… whatever. Get in his shit early. Make sure you don’t try to attack from the air from the front. That’s just a bad idea. If Rufus lands low strong anti-air, he can just start dive kick pressure, and now you’re just a pretty big character with shitty reversal options. I think Abel’s maneuverability helps him out in the early stages. It’s not terribly hard to take momentum early on.

So let’s say that all went according to plan, and you were able to take the advantage early on, until Rufus built himself a little meter. At that point, you have a choice to make. You can either continue to pressure, and take advantage of your momentum, with the knockdowns you’re getting, and keep control of the mix, or you can back off, and try to control space.

Both are decent options, and both carry a pretty large risk. If you press the advantage, obviously, you leave yourself susceptible to EX Messiah. If Rufus lands this, you’ve effectively given up control of the fight, and you now have to fight just to escape, let alone regain control. If you back off, Abel has tools to keep Rufus out, but they’re not fool proof. You’re going to need to keep proper spacing to maximize your tools. This is difficult, and a smart Rufus can just walk your ass right into the corner without risking a whole lot.

Again, both options are about as good as the other, IMO. Read the situation and decide what’s best. I will go with either on any day depending on my opponent, and depending on how frisky I’m feeling at the time.

If you decide to go in, that’s fine. Make sure you’re cognizant of EX Messiah. Get him to block something, and mix up your follow-ups. Short Roll is good, as are neutral jump/jump back, if you’re looking to bait EX Messiah. Punish it hard when you are able to bait it. Now Rufus isn’t like a lot of characters with pretty good reversals. With a lot of other characters, you can bait a reversal, punish it pretty hard, and you can pretty well figure that reversal isn’t gonna come out again for a while. Rufus… not so much. I don’t care how hard you punish EX Messiah… it’s never too far away from coming out again. You might be able to buy yourself one opportunity to actually attempt an offensive option in your mix up, but definitely not too many.


If you look at that, pretty much everything I do at the start of that round is to bait out EX Messiah. I don’t punish it terribly hard, but I made him miss so wildly that it just stopped looking like a good idea.

Smart Rufus’ will begin to punish your attempts at baiting EX Messiah. If Rufus is looking for it, he can react to neutral jumps/jump back with jump RH, and hurt you badly. He can react to your cute little roll set-ups with a throw. The first option fucking hurts, but both options serve the purpose of turning around momentum. Option one takes a good 40% damage, and pushes you out. Option 2, not so much damage, but it leaves you in a prime spot to start getting dived on. No good.

So your offense is definitely risky. Defense can be just as risky. You can try to keep Rufus out, and keep good spacing. If you space properly, you take away Rufus’ dive kick as a means of entry. Low Forward can stuff dive kick consistently, if you’re at the right spot. Staying in that right spot can be difficult, because you don’t really have any great move to control Rufus’ movement. You just have to move with him. Thus, he can push you towards the corner, without really doing much. Most Rufus players aren’t that smart though… For those that are, at some point, you’re gonna be forced to attack to regain some position, or try to roll to the other side to give yourself some room, or something. If it starts to look like you’re gonna have to opt towards one of these, try to do it before you’re back’s too close to the corner, and it becomes obvious that you’re gonna have to veer towards one of those options.

If you fuck up your spacing, or if you get pushed into the corner, it can get really rough for you, and you’re gonna have to deal with Dive Kick pressure.

So, how do you deal with Dive Kick pressure? Well… I don’t know. There’s no great answer. Once you’re forced to block a Dive Kick, the mix-up is completely in Rufus’ favor. You have options, but Abel’s moves are too slow to be able to pick an option on reaction to Rufus. You’re going to have to spin that wheel and guess. Stand Fierce is a good option after blocking a Dive Kick. It’s your fastest move, and it covers attempts to Dive Kick again. We all know Rufus’ love to Dive Kick a couple times in a row. Block one-> st. FP is a decent option. It can beat attempts to tick throw out of a Dive Kick also, if the Rufus player gets even a little sloppy with timing. Of course, it loses to counter hit set-ups into pretty damaging combos, so this is by no means a perfect counter.

TT/EX TT can be OK… but I don’t like to use it much at all. It’s a complete guess, and it loses to so much. On the other hand, it scores a knockdown, and completely turns the tide of the fight around, so it can be worth the risk at some points.

Then, there’s always block. Really good option, especially since Rufus has no real high/low mix-up. Just block low, and try to recognize when you’re gonna be thrown. Of course good Rufus’ will begin to work counter hit/throw mix-ups on you once you start blocking effectively. I’d say, however, that most Rufus’ (at least in America) still suck at this. Coming from CvS2 (which was really just one big counter hit/throw mix-up), I haven’t run into many Rufus’ that give me much trouble from this angle, but they’re definitely out there (Justin, Marn… um… there must be others). I’d hate to be in Kindevu’s mix-up. Shit must be brutal. As for that kind-of-annoying guy at your tournament… he’s not that good. You can wait out most of the stuff, and when it looks like he’s going for a throw… he probably is. Tech it and move on.

Also, defensively speaking, you might want to keep meter on you in this fight. Outside of the occasional EX Roll, I really don’t see a reason to be using meter in this fight. Not much good can come from fishing with EX CoD, or EX TT, and EX Wheel Kick is fairly worthless. You’re much better off saving up your meter, IMO. Jab Super is easily Abel’s best reversal. Even just having it on you can be a great help, whether you wanna use it or not. The threat of super can be enough to keep Rufus honest, and far less annoying. If the threat alone isn’t doing that, use that shit. A lot of people don’t really respect Abel’s super, for some reason. Let that shit fly if you find a situation where you can land it. They’ll be there. And again, if those situations aren’t there, then the super is already serving it’s purpose, by keeping you out of certain annoying situations to begin with.

So yeah… that’s all I’ve got for now. Of course, this all sounds so easy. It’s clearly not. This is a hard fight, even against scrub Rufus’. He just gets so much easy damage whenever he’s able to gain control. Stay on your toes. You can’t relent for a second.

Enemy Territory



[details=Spoiler]HAV says…

Basic Strategy
This is a tough fight. I think Ryu controls this fight from all angles. His offense is great on Abel. His defense is great against Abel. He can run away. He can close a gap quickly. He can do it all. But he can get fucked up quick too. The goal in this fight is to keep from taking any huge risks at the onset, because Ryu can easily deal with them all. Be patient, play footsies, look for an opportunity to land a Step Kick. At this point, you can kinda do whatever you want. It doesn’t really matter. Ryu’s major tool to deal with all of your shenanigans is DP, obviously. Ryu’s DP is 3 frames, so you can’t utilize some of the same tactics you may have against Sagat. Shit like Step Kick-> Dash -> Short Roll won’t work on Ryu to bait a DP, while it will on Sagat. But anyway, the whole goal in this fight is to compromise Ryu’s comfort level. You can’t just go on in… Ryu deals with that too easily, but if you can go in, block at the right times, punish DP attempts hard, then dance around on Ryu’s wake-up, you can get him pretty uncomfortable. You have to understand Ryu’s mental state throughout the fight to get an understanding for what you’re able to do, when you’re able to do it, and for how long.

At the end of the day, I think a properly composed Ryu wins this fight doing very little, but it’s a fight he has to play pretty differently from any other fight. It’s easy to get players that aren’t too familiar with your options flustered. Even those that are familiar can still be made uncomfortable.

Seeing is Believing

Prime example of what I’m talking about:


[details=Spoiler]HAV says…

Pretty even fight. My personal favorite fight in the game. Both characters have a myriad of options to deal with those of the other character, and Sagat can be effectively played a few different ways in this fight, so it’s always fun.

From my perspective, I look at Sagat as a big target. Coming from CvS2… SF4 Sagat doesn’t even shake me up. He’s big, he’s slow, if you can get close, there’s nothing too tricky you have to deal with from him. He’s either gonna block, throw, uppercut, or jump out… Nothing special. So go in. Now, obviously, Sagat has great tools to keep you out. Nothing you can’t get around with proper footsies. Chilling at mid-range is fine in this match. Sure, Sagat wins at mid-range, but at mid-range, all I’m trying to do is look for one chance to get in. Either a fireball to roll through, a s. RH to whiff punish (or jump on)… something. Once I find my spot, the fun begins. It’s likely I’ll take a decent amount of damage before I get in… but I don’t really care. Once I’m in, my major goal is to make Sagat use Tiger Uppercut, because it’s his biggest tool in the match… but in my eyes, also his biggest liability. Most Sagat’s won’t just bust it out off top, so you can get in and style on Sagat for a little bit. I like to use overhead a good deal in the Sagat fight because it keeps him honest from jump-out attempts, and if I happen to score a hit, there’s a decent little hesitation mix-up I can use there. Overhead seems to draw out TU… which is exactly what I want.

The overall goal when I’m close to Sagat is just to do one thing that’s gonna mindfuck him. If you can dance around a Tiger Uppercut, and punish hard enough, you can maul Sagat for a little while. You can use roll mix-ups at point blank to try to bait TU’s. Obviously, these lose to throws… but fuck it… it’s worth it, IMO. The reward that you get from making Sagat miss one TU is so huge, it’s definitely worth taking a throw or two… besides, if you can make Sagat think throwing is a good idea, there’s a clear answer for that the next time you can introduce a similar situation.

Anyway, yeah… make Sagat miss TU, or, one thing I like to do to Sagat’s I don’t play often is to block a TU FADC, and TT when they dash in. Most Sagat’s will go for the throw after a blocked TU FADC. Twirl him around for that, and he’s mindfucked. You can usually successfully use some basic throw mix-up after this since the Sagat will be a little flustered after this. Once Sagat’s start to catch on to this, it really undermines how good TU FADC is, because it puts Sagat into a mix-up that isn’t really in his favor. If he TU FADC’s in, after you’ve thrown him, he’s not gonna try to throw again, so his options are to either A) TU again (unless he had full meter, he won’t be able to FADC this one, so it’s a much riskier decision) or B) jump up to try to bait the TT and punish. If you’re a smart player, this is a mix you’ll win more than lose. TU FADC in leaves Sagat at -2, meaning if he want to jump out, s. FP will catch him in pre-jump. So this is not safe for Sagat. Obviously, it’s a guess to hit Fierce, because he can TU you, but that’s a risk I can take, since, more often than not, Sagat will not be able to FADC the 2nd one, so the risk is much less. I’ll eat a TU on an educated guess, as long as he can’t follow it with Ultra. Eventually, Sagat will stop dashing in after TU FADC, and will dash back instead. I consider that a win.

But that’s all more specific than I generally like to get.

Generally speaking, I play this fight without much fear, and I’m willing to take a fair bit of damage to be able to get in and start my mix. There is a lot going on on both sides of the match at all times, so pay close attention, and figure out exactly what you can and can’t do. Just know, you’re never really safe. Sagat does so much damage, and he has tools to deal with anything you’re gonna throw at him… but so do you. His tools are a little better, and hurt more, that’s why I give him the slight edge, but you can get in there and make him forget what game he’s playing… so do that.

Enemy Territory
Editor’s note: Eric Kim wrote this a little bit differently from the other guys I got doing these. He wrote this kinda in the eyes of an Abel player, but that’s because he actually plays a pretty decent Abel as well. He considers the match to be 4.5-5.5 in Sagat’s favor. I personally consider Eric Kim to be the foremost expert on this match, from Sagat’s side, in the country, certainly at least on the EC.




Check back









[details=Spoiler]HAV says…

OK… so everyone hates this match-up. I think it’s a winnable fight… it’s just that it can all go so wrong, so quickly. Let’s talk about how to keep it right though.

OK, so first off, most Gief’s suck. That’s just reality. If you can figure out why the Gief you’re playing sucks (becuase he does. Believe me), it’s easier to win, because there’s something to go for.

That aside, if you’re playing against an actual good Gief (hint: there’s only like 3 in the US), it’s a lot tougher. I play this match slow (well, I play most matches slow…), and just pace it out. You can play footsies to some extent. Between Stand Short, Stand Strong, Stand Roundhouse, and Wheel Kicks, you can put up somewhat of a fight.

I like to press buttons occasionally, but for the most part, I’m content just sitting there, and waiting for Gief to fuck up. I punish ALL of Gief’s S. RH attempts hard. You can land Low Fierce xx CoD on that shit on reaction, easily. Once you take away s. RH as a means of entry for most Gief’s, they’re kinda stumped. Good Giefs, will keep trucking, and rely more on just walking, and hitting Strong. Um… this is tough to deal with. It pays to try to counter poke here, and try to land a Step Kick, or some other shit. It’s tough… Again… this is just footsies. I can’t really explain it.

The major thing to remember here is that your number one objective in this fight, IMO, is to stay on your feet. When you get knocked down, you’re done. Don’t take too many unnecessary chances here, because the risk/reward is almost never in your favor. Getting knocked down, even with a huge life lead, is just really bad business.

So yeah… my strategy is pretty shitty, honestly. I’m really just relying on the Gief player to suck. Luckily, most do. Chill, and let them fuck up, then punish. Don’t let him get any easy knockdowns. You can’t afford it.

Enemy Territory




Thanks for making this, HAV. Our forum is a disorganised shitheap at the moment.

How are you doing each match up? Just a block of text explaining it or a bit like the Akuma threads where they start by listing their match-specific setups and punishes? Might be worth wrapping it all up in spoiler text too for the sake of convenience. The other threads which have done that are very neat and tidy.

I think for somebody like Blanka it’d be good to start by listing things like how to punish the various balls and then some explination of the strategies that you might like to employ and the things you need to keep in mind.




Notable Moves
F+MK - Straight balls can be punished with F+MK as long as you blocked standing. To execute the punish, Dash as soon as you come out of block stun, execute f+MK and proceed as normal. Holding Forward when you dash and using this to do F+MK will prevent you from dashing twice and not doing anything. The input should be F,F(Hold),MK,F.

MP/Strong - Beats straight balls clean if timed properly

Falling Sky - Grabs Blanka out of both forward and backwards hops if timed peoperly. Needs to be almost psychic timing. Jab is probably the best option.

Ultra Setups
Any straight ball on hit or block that isn’t a counter hit is a garaunteed ultra. Use reversal timing.

Blanka’s wake-up is tilted heavily in his favour. Getting close to him while he’s down gives him several options which you have no good answer to. Generally, after scoring a knock down you want to present a threatening apperance to bait a mistake, but play safe. Meaty F+MK is a lower-risk option, but be wary of the wake up ultra.

Punishing straight balls early in the match is essential. The faster you can condition the opponent to believe that a straight ball is worthless against you outside of a combo, the easier this match will become. Practice the Dash F+MK Dash punish until you have it committed to muscle memory and break the habit of always blocking low if you’re one of the people who likes to do that.

You can put on a pretty agressive rush against Blanka, and when doing so you want to try to avoid knocking him down until you absolutely have to since knocking him down effectively halts your attack due to his ridiculously good wake up game. Feel free to play around with tight links and block strings since the worst you’re going to eat in terms of mashed out reversals is a counter-hit ball. Ideally, you want to try to back him into a corner, although the better Blankas will always reserve an EX stock for EX Rainbow ball to get out of this situation.

When you do have him in the corner, every single special move bar electricity can be punished by you on hit (not counter-hit) with any option you like.

To block Blanka’s Ultra, block low during the startup, and then block high once he gets airborne since the second hit counts as an overhead. Continue blocking high or low thereafter. Alternatively, EX roll away from it entirely. Do not try to ultra back if he holds the ball in place. You will eat the final 4 hits if you do.

Blanka’s Tricks
Be wary of spacing. Straight ball can be deliberately spaced to stop just short of you and set up a throw attempt. The slide also has huge range on it, so always assume that you’re in range of it from about 3/4 screen or closer.

Hop/Throw Shenanigans are best dealt with by jumping out if possible. Be wary of a hop+EX Upball combination. Some players favour this heavily over throws during hop mixups. If you’re playing someone who’s hopping alot, catching them with a Falling Sky will keep them thinking twice about another hop.

Obviously there’s more, but I’m at work.


Yeah, the plan was to use spoiler tags.

I’m not exactly sure how I’m going to do this, in terms of content. This is as much an exercise for me, as it is something I’m doing for the community. It’ll help me to just write shit out, and have a centralized place for me to get all my shit out before I forget it.


fuck yeah, new matchup thread. PM me if you want anything.


Props for doing this, Hav. It aint easy. Anyway an idea, maybe for some strats/combos/punishes, provide links to a video doing it too. For example, punishing a blocked blanka’s ultra with cr.hp into ultra, or lvl2 fa crumple etc… I can proly help in that department hehe.


Maybe so…but I think he’s got the ABELITY


Getting some punishes/combos on video is actually a really good idea. Maybe we can look in to this after the main whack of content is written out ? I’ll be more than happy to help with getting some of it on video – can even look into getting PC SF4 + Fraps going so we have some nice clear videos to work with


yeah… but vids proly for intermediate/hard/tricky stuff or situations where you need a visual cue and good reaction lol


Here’s a cool trick vs. Seth…if you f+MK from close (not sure how close. Just not max range for sure) you can follow it up with cr. LK, cr. LP, standing close fierce -> rekka -> whatever :smiley:


Yeah, see shit like this is exactly what this thread doesn’t need. Sorry to hate on you but you’re the first to do it.

If you’re going to contribute, please try to be detailed about it. We can’t direct new people to “I’m not sure but” type information. And on top of that there’s no reason for what you just posted to work on Seth and nobody else, so you’re going to need to explain it much better than that.


The video idea sounds really helpful with a match up thread. Maybe a video that shows what the text is talking about. Nothing more in-depth than seeing what you’re reading…but then again, I’m not the one trying to re-organize this.

BTW, thanks for doing this.


This works on Guile and Abel too. I think someone posted a list of who it does and doesn’t work against, but I can’t find it.


still there.


Explain it? It’s a fucking combo. Press the buttons in the order. If you’re worried about hit confirming, voila, here’s a hit confirm knockdown. Let’s flame somebody for contributing! BAD! Shame on you! You didn’t spend your time testing the combo on every single character so why even post this useless shit!


He said he’s not sure. The closest he came to explaining it was “not max range”

That doesn’t tell me shit. Do I need to be standing on his balls for it to work? Can I be 1/2 a character space away? Throw range? Jab TT Range? Does it work on any hit, or is it maybe something that needs a counter hit?

Zoning is a pretty important aspect of the game. When you’re talking about something that needs to be spaced properly, giving an idea of the right spacing might be a nice bit of information to include.