Nice thread. Let me break down some of the stuff I do in the lab.
Start of training mode
- Wavedashing for 5-10 minutes
- Back plink dashing for 5-10 minutes
- Basic motions = QCF, QCB, DP, RDP, TK on both sides
Basic BnBs (be sure to do all of these on both sides!)
- 10 sets of basic Impact Palm loop, both sides (no Grace or with Grace, your choice)
- Corner Flames loop, 5 sets of full 3-2-1 (or some permutation)*
- 5 more sets of Corner Flames loop, but with assists (if applicable)
- 5 sets of full midscreen Flames
- 5 sets of corner TAC into FoF loop, all directions
*If you mess up the relaunch in corner FoF and do an FoF too close to the opponent, remember that you can always link a snapback and get a free mixup on the incoming character. Keep that momentum going!
Confirms and conversions
- Blockstrings, no assists
- Anti-air situations (st.L, Mystic Sword L, cr.M) into loops
- Air-to-air with j.M or back j.H OS into loops
- SJ height confirms with Jam Session
Mixups and incoming setups
- Blockstrings with assists (Jam Session) into 50/50 mixups. Use a combination of teleports, DoD M, EoA, and lv. 0 FoF with a lockdown assist.
- Crossups with assist, on random block-- if hit, go into combo. If not, assistless blockstring
- Ambiguous crossup with Teleport H + assist in the corner. Early = same side, delayed = crossup. Convert into full FoF loop.
- Create other possible setups that lead into EoA pressure
FoF setups (where applicable)
Viper to Strange
- Viper BnB into Burst Time, DHC into 7 Rings, FoF loop
- Emergency Combination DHC 7 Rings, dash forward Impact Palm into midscreen FoF
- Focus Attack/EX TK crumple, raw tag, full FoF loop
Dante to Strange
- Short BnB into Million Dollars, DHC into 7 Rings before last hit
- Prop Shredder, Acid Rain, raw tag, FoF loop (ugh)
Strange to Dante
- Throw, Teleport H xx SoV, DHC Devil Trigger into combo or raw tag into FoF loop (haaaarrrddd)
- Confirms with opponent on random block --> if it connects, go into XF combo. If not, DHC into Devil Trigger for safety and get a free mixup with Bolts
- FoF loop into DT combo ending with Thunderbolt x5[/details]
[details=Spoiler]How to maintain spacing during the FoF loop:
There are three ways to do this.
If you are early in the combo (=<20 hits), you may still use heavy attacks such as st.H and cr.H to space yourself correctly. The pushback will usually put you at the right spacing, especially if they land on the tip of the hitbox of st.H. Mystic Sword L may also be used if you somehow land a confirm near the corner.
Impact Palm xx Flame before launcher. This is your bread and butter for spacing late into the combo. Use this a lot, since it will negate the forward motion of the launcher. In addition, notice how (when you land after an air juggle), doing Palm xx Flame slightly early creates a bit more pushback and puts the opponent at a workable height to keep the combo going. Remember this, because it is important to keep in mind if you want to finish your FoF loops to the end.
Dash back Impact Palm. Great way to correct spacing when you feel that Strange is too close to the opponent or the corner (or both). If you feel like the combo is about to drop when you go for the relaunch, you can just land after the air juggle, then dash back and Impact Palm. This will instantly create some space for you and prevent the combo from dropping. You can always cancel into Flames of the Faltine as well for more pushback and damage. In numpad notation, dash back Impact Palm would simply be as follows: 4LM, 6H. With an FoF cancel, it would be: 4LM, 6H xx 321H, kind of like an HCB or 63214 motion. Do this cleanly and practice on both sides, as you may get an unwanted 5H.
Side note: Wallbounce assists like Jill’s Arrow Kick will usually correct spacing for you if you can combo into them, which is very easy. They also extend your FoF loops and increase damage output and meter build. Log Trap, Arrow Kick, and Rising Fang are good assists for Strange in this manner!
The Rule of 40 and You: How to optimize damage and meter build
This is one of the quirks of the HSD system that I noticed. Basically, in most of Strange’s solo setups, you are only allowed to keep going for FoF loops until the hit counter reaches 40, or slightly less than that. If you start from the corner, notice how it gets increasingly difficult to land another relaunch somewhere around 39 or 40 hits. This is fine, and to be expected since we know that HSD runs on an invisible timer. As much as possible, you want to go for as many heavy hits as you can (Impact Palm and lv. 0 FoF are all you really need) and omit light attacks as much as possible in order to keep the timer from running out before your last relaunch.
Try doing the following corner FoF loop starter: cr.L, cr.L, st.M ~ Impact Palm xx 2R Grace, TK FoF, Impact Palm, land, st.H ~ Impact Palm xx FoF, Impact Palm, launcher. From here, continue to do the usual relaunch stuff, but the air juggle part will be different. First do 3 pairs of Impact Palm xx Flame on your first air juggle, followed by 2 pairs on the second, then 1 pair on the third. This will allow you to go for a fourth relaunch, where you can do 3 pairs into an ender of your choice. Notice how when you press S and go for the fourth relaunch, it will be somewhere around 39 or 40 hits-- this is the Rule of 40 I was talking about. In other words, if you want to go for that fourth relaunch (which increases damage and meter build quite a bit) or just optimize your combos in general, follow the Rule of 40, which means you must finish your FoF loop before 39 or 40 hits.
It gets a bit trickier in situations where multiple hits are added to the start of the combo: this is fine, and in most cases, you can proceed like normal. However, there are situations where you must go for the last relaunch somewhere around 34-35 hits, such as converting off Jill’s Arrow Kick wallbounce assist. Converting off Dante’s Jam Session assist will also let you relaunch around 40-42hits. In cases like these, it helps to get familiar with each possible situation and conversion that your team is capable of. Here, the Rule of 40 becomes something like a mathematical thing: you will need to count (in advance) how many pairs of Impact Palm xx Flame you will do in your air juggles before the final relaunch. You get a knack for it as you practice this idea more, so don’t worry, it’s not that hard. Of course, if you just want to keep things consistent, I would recommend going for your usual ender somewhere around 35-38 hits. If you are daring and want to optimize your combos, feel free to keep the rule in mind. Start getting used to counting your hits.[/details]