"Time for your morning exercises!" The wake-up game Thread

To me, the wake up game is the single most important aspect of Rufus’s game. Rufus is a character that excels in shredding the opponent when he fears you and constantly attempting to psyche him out when he doesn’t.

Mastering the wake up game is what makes Rufus truly scary, and what makes his most difficult match-ups, not so difficult.

At the same time, Rufus’s defense is quite nuanced. At the low level, you can spam Ex Messiah on wake up all day and dominate. But against opponents who know how to bait and punish the Ex Messiah, that doesn’t work. So, you need to really understand all his different options on wake up when you’re being rushed down by someone who knows what he’s doing, otherwise your Rufus is going to spend the match being rushed down instead of doing what he does best- Rushing the other guy down.
In short- Rufus’s wake up game is important and deep enough that I think it deserves its own thread.**

Discuss all the mind games that take place when the opponent is waking up and when Rufus is waking up in this thread.

I want to start this thread with something I only just started incorporating into my Rufus game…

Okizeme After a Tornado

Even after playing Rufus for the better part of a year now, this is something I only realized after watching one of Kindevu’s recent matches. Its a simple, but VERY important fact:

After a Tornado connects. If you jump forward, and the opponent fast recovers, you’ll be safely in front of the opponent.

Why is this important? Because this one single jump, is the best way to close distance. Most of us Rufus players do funny shenanigans like dash forward or roll forward or dive kick forward, but none of these moves will put you in the perfect position to pressure the opponent just as he wakes up.

Once you realise that jumping forward immediately after a connected Tornado will leave you safe in front of the opponent, then you can develop a whole set of wake up games (aka, Okizime) from there.

I want to emphasise that all this applies only if the opponent fast recovers. Its fine though, because if the opponent doesn’t fast recover, you have more than enough time to set up a cross up dive kick after.

So there are 3 main options to consider:

Option 1: The Safe Jump

This is the most powerful option but the hardest to do consistently.


A safe jump is a jump attack where if the opponent does an anti-air, you will be able to land and block in time. If the opponent doesn’t do an anti-air, your jump attack will connect with him.

Now in SF4, there are certain moves that are unsafe jumpable. These are- all of Ryu’s shoryukens, all of Akuma’s shoryukens, Ken’s Heavy punch SRK, Blanka’s Ex Ball, Chun-li’s Super, and Zangief’s Ex SPDs, and possibly Abel’s Ex Grab.

Everything else IS safe jumpable. So Sagat is 100% safe jumpable. So is Boxer. And a whole bunch of other characters.

How to Safe jump after a Tornado:

After a tornado connects, walk forward for like 1/4 of a second (i’m estimating here, could be shorter or longer by a little) then jump forward and do a fierce punch, then immediately block on landing.

If you did it right, characters like Sagat will have their uppercut blocked if they uppercutted, and they will be hit if they don’t uppercut.

The difficulty here is timing the forward walk. The timing is VERY precise on this one. Which is why even though this option is the most powerful one, you shouldn’t risk it every time, because if you screw up and walk forward just a bit too much, you get uppercutted into Ultra.

This is why you need to mix up.

Option 2: The Safe Jump In

This one is simple. Just jump forward right after the tornado, then

2a) Crouch block and crouch tech just after the opponent gets up.

This works, because after the opponent gets up and you’ve just jumped right in front of him, there are only few things he can do:

  1. Throw you.
  2. Uppercut.
  3. Throw light attacks
  4. Jump backwards or some other evasive action.
  5. Block

So if the opponent throws, you tech. If he reversal uppercuts, you block and can punish. If he throws a light attack, your light kick will lose/trade with his. If he runs away… well that still means you successfully applied pressure on him. If he blocks, you pressure him with light attacks.

2b. The other option is to do a Dive kick right after jumping forward. This will beat his counter throw and give you a combo to boot but will lose to an uppercut. Its a good mix up to consider when you can sense fear from the opponent.

2c. Yet another option is to simply throw him. Self-explanatory.

2d. Ex Messiah. The answer to all of life’s problems.

Option 3: The non-safe jump

This is simply what happens if you mistime the safe jump and do it too late. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, because its a very tough jump in for the opponent to judge if he should uppercut. If you’ve psyched him out with safe jumps and safe jump-in’s before, this is always a good option to go for to keep the pressure on him.

Well that ends my mini-article on the art of Oki after a tornado. I want to emphasise that this is something I only just started incorporating into my game, but I find that it helps against certain matches A LOT.

doooooooope thread imo

but didn’t you hear? rufus is a no-skill char :DDDD

Amazing read. Gotta start using it in my game now.

Wtf you talking about?

This read is awesome, forgot about safety jumps lol.

^^^ Hes taking the piss its something what one of the mods said about Rufus lol.

Missed that. Sad story.

The Okizeme part is good to know thanks for that one.

Nice thread! I’m gonna eat Sagat for breakfast!!

Going to add this to my game immediately.

Sagat being safe-jumpable is good definitely good news. Great info.

yeah safe jumping and mixing up between block/dive kick and throw against sagat is the best way to get inside his head and beat him

balrog has the worst wake-up game of the cast; get him on the ground and bully him. meaty tornado is ok; beats (breaks glass) reversal ex dash punches

Uh, yeah. About that. You’re saying you can do a crouching throw tech that both does come out as a short to beat theirs, and doesn’t come out as a short when the dp?

You’re right. Crouch teching just after the opponent blocks will probably lose/trade to a light attack that the opponent hits right on wake up.

It will option select between blocking a reversal DP/ teching a wake up throw/crouch shorting them if they block if you do it right though.

Against characters who have a good reason to mash jab/short on wake up (Balrog) you prolly want to favour dive kick/Ex Messiah/unsafe jump ins over a wake up crouch tech.

can you explain this a bit more with the option select?

say for example theres a ryu on wakeup and i’m right beside him crouch blocking.

on wakeup if I option select (crouch + lp + lk?) it will tech if he throws, jab if he blocks, and block if he DPs? or will I eat the DP on wakeup if I option select

also can anyone provide some more examples of when to use option select with Rufus?

Just realised that after after a jump fierce, Ex Messiah combos pretty easily. This means that Ex Messiah after a safe jump is a good option if you think the opponent if going to do anything other than block- if he gets hit, you combo him, if he uppercuts, your Ex Messiah will blow through his uppercut.

The other exception being if the opponent does an Ex Uppercut… those have a good chance of beating your Ex Messiah =\

Basically yes. The reason for this, is because when you crouch tech, you have to press the light punch + light kick slightly later than after the opponent throws.

This means, that a well timed crouch tech meant to counter a wake up throw, will be pressed slightly after the opponent gets up and does his wake up move.

So if the opponent instead of doing a wake up throw decides to DP instead, his DP will put you into block stun and your LP+LK will do nothing.

If the opponent just holds block, you’ll do a light kick, cause that’s how crouch techs work.

Of course, at really high levels of play, you see players like Daigo doing delayed uppercuts to blow throw crouch tech attempts- but that’s another layer of mind games, and another story.

true buddy thanks alot for the tips
thats why me mashing it during block strings odens’t work
its more of a reaction instead of a safeguard

if i’m not mistaken, its still exactly like teching, reacting to your opps. throw however it provides you with a bit of a safety net due to the crouching short/jab

Preliminary post, will be edited:

I’ve been able to get this as a safe jump vs Sagat in practice mode:

After forward+ throw > df+ MK roll> jump forward> j.MK

It has to be perfect, without any gaps in between though. Anyone else wanna confirm that it works, or was it just my wishful thinking that somehow made it work?*

The best part about this setup is that, you can hold backward, and if your j.MK hits and you weren’t uppercutted, you can still combo with a s.LK> s.HK> Ultra.

The second best part about this setup is that it seems to randomly cross up, stuffing or avoiding Tiger Uppercuts (if you didn’t execute the safe jump perfectly).

*I got it to work in practice mode, but I can’t quite figure it out mathematically, since if you crunch the frame data, it shouldn’t be safe (43 jump frames+ 34 roll frames+ 2 frames landing recovery = 79 frames or Rufus not being able to block versus 74 frame recovery from throw + 5 frames start up = a perfect reversal TU hits on the 79th frame, exactly.

If you think you have a safe jump, test it out. Go into training mode, with the opponents char as P1, and rufus as P2. Set dummy to ‘record’, do a couple of dash forwards followed by your setup, and have rufus holding d/b in the air so he blocks once on the ground. After being recorded, set to playback, and try to reversal the jump as the opponents character.

If you’d done that, you’d see your setup is beat out with all three strengths of reversal TU, and EX TU. I had the fastest turbo set so the d/f forward would come out as soon as possible, so its not a timing thing.

I did all that and it worked. Reversal message with Tiger uppercut, and the one recording consistently gave me a safe jump.

The only reason I’m unsure about how it works is because of the mathematics.


Yah. I just tried it again. Worked on the first recording I did. You probably need to try a few times. I guess turbo doesn’t give you a frame perfect d/f forward. Either that or having turbo on screws up your safe jump since you’re hitting jump MK for it.

Huh, I guess I need to take a closer look at the turbo code in the UPCB. I tried another recoirding manually mashed the d/f + forward and got very different results:

jab TU: beats Rufus out cleanly
Strong and Fierce TU: loses to rufus’s jump in
EX TU: whiffs entirely

Corner: EX TU: whiffs entirely
Jab, strong, fierce TUs: loses cleanly to rufus.

I stand corrected.

You need to try it again. I’ve gotten a consistent safe jump (i.e, hit on no uppercut, blockable on landing against uppercut) on recordings before. Jab TU is no faster than strong and fierce, so if its unsafe against one, its unsafe against all.

The cross up/beating uppercut (which is a function of crossing up) stuff happens, I think, when you’re a couple of frames slower, but there’s no way to be sure unless you examine it frame by frame… either that or there’s some randomness in the engine going on here…