Transitioning to Viper - Experiences and Feedback



I have just decided to use Viper as an alt, maybe eventually making her my main. I’ve been practicing all the execution and timing, reading the forums and when my Hori gets fixed up I’ll be ready to compete.

So far, the obvious similarities between Viper and Dictator (my main) revolve around strong crossups and fast/elusive movement skills. I believe Viper has a stronger crossup/mixup game while Dictator is quicker and more difficult to pin down.

The main difference I think I’ll need to get used to is Viper’s wakeup game and footsies.

From what I can tell, she doesn’t have a strong set of ‘step-the-fuck-off-me’ moves while Dictator has EX-Psycho Crusher, EX-Devil’s Reverse and a teleport. Viper has EX BK, EX Seismo and… backdash.

In terms of footsies, Dictator has a strong advantage with,, As a result, I think Viper relies more on specials and landing heavy combos.

I’d enjoy reading some feedback from Viper aficionados and their transitions from other characters in SF4 and other characters in Street Fighter games to Viper.

Personally, I’m interested in the similarities/differences that will come into play as a Dictator/Viper player but I think learning from other transitions will be useful for all Viper players.

Viper seems to require a more flexible, fluid mindset from the player, more than the usual X-COPY routine.


Well this is a bit more organized and thought out than some of the other threads…

Yeah I can definitely see some similarities in playstyles between Dic and Viper. Both need to get in to win and both have a lot of variety as far as options in the air and crossing the opponent up. From there it is different that’s for sure. Dictator more reliant on high priority normals and a strong focus and Viper more reliant on specials that cover the entire screen space with only at most decent priority on a few of her normals. That’s when you realize that stuff like LP and MP knuckles when spaced correctly are also very useful for zoning and anti air and can be used similar to how other characters use their normals to zone and go under other attacks.


That’s true. I switched from Ryu and took me a long time to wrap my mind around using specials so much for footsies as opposed to normals. During footsies I very rarely use sweep, but definitely use low forward all the time and I use mp or lp tk as a poke all day. EX seismo is also good in that range. Dash forward point blank ex seismo is very effective.


DO NOT RELY ON SPECIALS FOR FOOTSIES. Most of her moves are easily beaten out/trade by just about any good special move. Or at least, try to hit confirm into specials whenever possible, but dont just throw out specials. Shoryukens hurt damn it.


Using specials as footsies is common to every high level Viper player, it’s just how she is played. It’s very effective. I saw Uryo throw out like 5 specials in a row against Mago. Tk’s, burn kicks, and ex seismos are all great for footsies at the right ranges. Of course they lose to srks. Everything loses to srks, but people don’t throw out random srks all day, unless they want to lose.


When i made the switch to viper i found not being able to use her sweep was very awkward because of its rediculous 12 frame startup. Coming off of using shotos and balrog with their good sweep really threw me off. Also viper’s limited use of normals was unusual because my first main was chun li who is a mid range poke heavy character. However, since viper’s offense is based off of specials she builds meter really quickly which allows you to be more liberal with meter usage. One weird thing thats just psychological for me is she seems to take damage worst than chun even though they have the same amount of stamina which is kinda odd.


Viper has a sweep? :confused:


Well, one way of looking at the footsies game is to get rid of the distinction between normal and special moves and consider frame startup and the space covered by specials or normals.

For example, I consider Dictator’s LK Scissors to be a good poke, even if it is designated as a special. Viper’s three TKs alone cover a great deal of space in front and above her.

I agree - throwing specials out for no reason is asinine. Mixing normals and specials well forms the backbone of any good footsies. In Viper’s case, she doesn’t have a 5 frame or a 3 frame like Dictator, so she needs to use specials a bit more than most characters to help cover space.

Since when?


I main’d Gief for a long time, then moved over to Gouken, and now I’m working on Viper as my 3rd. Viper is an exercise in patience. Moving from Gouken, I had to break my habit of using FAs a lot (Gouken’s is one of the best in the game). I feel that Viper doesn’t have the same “pickup and go” feel as most characters, and you really have to get into a more psychological mindset when using her I think. Can’t just bum-rush people or else you can fall victim to shoryu-spam.

Coming from Gief perspective, the play style is a lot more “get em off me” vs “get over here” mentality. From the Gouken perspective, it’s somewhat similar in the aspect of “if you mess up just ONE thing, I’m going to punish you HARD.” Also similar in the Gouken perspective, the “get em off me” game is rough when you get knocked down. Can’t shoryu-spam on-wake, and anything you do can be easily and heavily punished should you miss. It’s the whole risk/reward aspect.

Oh, and landing her ultra can be a blessing or a total nightmare if the person being juggled is either falling slightly above the head or part of them is just below the waist. Too fast/too soon and a major whiff is just painful to watch. Especially considering the low health.

When in “Viper Mode” though, the game is just beautiful. Full-screen punishment. All-angle punishment. GREAT mix-up of high/low. When Viper works, it’s just magic. You can make the other person just FEAR moving around. I’ve had matches against shotos where the other person just stops using fireballs altogether. They spend the rest of the match cowering in the corner for fear of jumping toward me, tossing a limb out, or shoryu-spam to try to hit me. When the magic works, this is when I enjoy Viper.


Exactly :chat:


Chun and Viper take the same damage. It’s obvious after playing against both characters enough. I dunno if they have the same stun though.

Viper’s sweep isn’t bad but you can’t use it to beat other people’s attacks except out of anticipation. It takes too long to execute otherwise and I’m sure it’s unsafe as hell on block. It is good for punishing things like whiffed LP shoryu or other long recovery moves from a slight distance. So at best it’s a decent whiff punisher at a range since it creates an untechable knockdown so free mix up on wake up afterwards. EX seismo is good and sets up decent damage but people can tech that and get lucky reversal attacks in afterwards if you’re not careful. Uryo has been the pioneer for using Viper’s sweep regularly to punish whiffed moves.


Interesting. Punisher for whiffed moves in a distance, I always just use MP TK (low start time, pretty long distance covered), but if the guy is in sweep range, I think the benefit of it being untechable is probably better…


I don’t understand this reasoning. A whiffed move, especially one that is punishable by sweep, is basically a free FFF seismo bk/tk combo. Sure a sweep gives an untechable knockdown, but what are you going to gain damage wise from that 1 untechable knockdown? Worst case scenario they block/tech your mixup or reversal you, best case scenario you get a jump in hk to land and go into the same FFF combo you could’ve used before, other scenarios include f+mp, throws, and bk crossups.

All of these options give your opponent a chance to tech the knockdown except the throw. So you have to weigh out the chances. You have some chance to get reversaled or blocked. You have some chance to land the same combo you could’ve done (plus another two kicks). You have some chance to land a tick throw. You have some chance to land some other less damaging crossup that is techable.

Basically unless you throw, they are going to be, in your best case scenario, teching a knockdown. Which is what would’ve happened in the first place. Plus there are always teched wakeup games to be played after the punish.

Granted I don’t play viper much and this is obviously just my opinion. The only reason I see to use sweep is if you can’t FFF because you are too far away. The risk of missing out on free damage is far greater than the reward of an untechable knockdown IMO.


He did say “whiff punisher at a range” :slight_smile:


Right but I’m not sure how much more range sweep has than c.fp.


After the first fierce you get pushed back so if you’re not right next to your opponent your second fierce will whiff.


Yeah at a range it sets you up for some solid mind games which can lead to c.HP or FFF ex seismo whatever. Sweep has better range than c.HP and gives you enough time to walk up and wake up pressure on most characters. I was more so referring to a distance where only sweep or EX seismo by itself are punishing options. I like the idea of getting untechable knockdown and a possible chance for j.HK to c.HP to whatever over just EX seismo to burn kick. Sometimes Uryo will still hit c.HK when he’s in c.HP range though and I guess those times he’s just feeling lucky and wants extra stun.


I almost always punish with cr.fp to exseis -> burnkick/

wouldn’t that technically be better then mindgames because it’s confirmed?

A block bk on wakeup is dangerous.


No it isn’t. Blocked bks are usually not punishable. If they block one it just resets everything, nothing more.


Airbone blocked bks are safer than ground ones.