Turtling or offensive Akuma?

Well, not sure should I post this in NSD or Akuma subforum, since, it’s Akuma question, but I still feel like a noob, so I’ve put it in here. Mods, hit in Akuma subforum if this is the wrong place for this question. Thanks.

Allright, here it goes…I’m maining Akuma, and getting the grip of playing the mofo. Finnaly I’ve adopted to the TE sticks my wife and I bought, so, I can pull some combos (nothing fancy, like-demon flip-lk-lk tatsu-hp shoryuken, or demon flip-hp-hp shoryuken, or hk-shoryuken, or j.hk-hp-lk tatsu-hp shoryuken). Am still struggling to learn FADC and proper use of it. So, you get idea of my current level of play.

The problem is; I am playing pretty much turtling Akuma. That means I spam fireballs, red fireballs, air fireballs, waiting for jump ins to shoryuken them, waiting for jumps to hit ultra, waiting for fireballs to pull demon dive flip+something combo. It works fine for now, am kicking my wife, my brothers, my friends, but…I feel it’s not right…maybe I’m wrong, but it’s all good for this kind of play (with wife, friends, bros), but I wanna take my game upper, meaning I wanna go more offensive. It seems to me, even he has such crappy stamina, he’s meant to be offensive demon. But, as Akuma has such low stamina as he has, it’s damn hard for me to play really offensive, since one mistake costs me shitload of stamina.

The question is: how should I play Akuma? Offensivly? Turtling? Any advices how to use Akuma as offensive destruction machine?

I’m pretty much going through the same thing as you. At first I was pretty much turtling. Not used the the reversal window, my options on my opponents wake up kept backfiring in my face. That right there scared me into backing off and just doing a FB. The more I played the more it became apparent that I had to learn to play both offensively and defensively. Akuma has a ton of tools at his fingertips and you have to learn how and when to use them. Because he dies so easily you must be smart about it. I admit I still do play with reckless abandon. There’s nothing wrong with being defensive. Top players know when to apply pressure and when to play defensive and bait their opponents.

You can’t play turtle Akuma. What are you going to do if you’re opponent has life lead? Sitting back and throwing FBs is a free win for some people. You need to play both offensive and defensive. You must learn how to no matter what. And yeah you’re going to eat damage because you are taking a risk. You’re going to lose and get hit with stupid things because you must learn to play offensive. It’s the only way you’re going to learn how to bait attacks, mix your opponent up, how to counter what with what. You must learn to get in their face and how to deal with their options. Being new to Akuma means trial and error in the name of improvement.

I would like to give you tips on how to play him rushdown but I can’t since I’m a bad Akuma player who is learning the ropes.

I preface this with saying I’m not an Akuma player whatsoever. I’ve simply played hundreds of them, as Akuma is one of the six playable characters in Street Fighter IV.

A lot of times I see a combination of the two, and it seems to be the most effective. If you focus only on turtling, your opponent will catch wind of what you do and adjust quickly to gain the upper hand. If you play too offensively your opponent will typically find weaknesses and punish thoroughly.

Best thing I’ve seen is Akumas who start the match turtling like mad - jump back, fireball, fireball, jump back, fireball, etc. This will sometimes cause your opponent to get impatient, try to rush in and get clumsy. Once they get clumsy, push offensive like mad. Punish them on wakeup, push 'em back, then switch to turtling again. If you switch up both games enough you can have a confused and often pissed off opponent. Pissed off opponents = clumsy opponents.

That’s about all the advice I can offer. Dunno if it’ll help at all, but there ya go.

Turtling with Akuma is good. You should be able to set up offense with the sweep, throws, and jump-forward EX fireballs, though. Most of the good Akuma players start up mix-ups with these moves, get in some damage, and then go back to turtling.

Akuma is most definitely played most effectively as a rushdown character. Although his stamina is low, his damage potential coupled with his mix up–one of the best mix ups in the game–makes him a beat up close. Turtle Akuma vs rushdown Akuma? When I see that my opponent has selected Akuma, I hope for a turtle.

That said, I imagine turtling is more effective online than off. His air fireball zoning is harder to deal with in a laggy situation.

The thing is, you need–at minimum–to have solid execution, good understanding of spacing, and a solid understanding of match ups to make this work.

I don’t really play Akuma, so it’s hard for me to give you specific advice past that, but know this is the kind of skill set you need to develop.

I always play extremely offensively, use Gou Zankuu repeatedly to put pressure on your opponent. Psychologically, your opponent would want to jump over the Gou Zankuu (Air FB), and that is when sweeps, Hyakki Shuu, and teleports come in handy. Teleporting is more useful than you may think. Also, Ultra anti air is great. Another thing is that Gouki’s Ultra is a bit different. You are able to execute the Ultra while the opponent is IN their Ultra animation charge-up, only during the last few frames though. If your execution is good… or, maybe I should say GREAT, then you will be able to counter Zangief’s Ultimate Atomic Buster by doing this. Also, this can be done with ALL supers. So if you use a character that has a very fast super, like… Ken’s Shoryu Reppa, then you can sacrifice your super in order to not get hurt, and as a payback, hurt the opponent. Timing however, is very crucial. As for how YOU should play Gouki, is completely up to you.

you play akuma 60- 80% turtlish until you get an untechable knockdown, thats when you go on offense with your wakeup game “vortex” mixup.

the other 20% of offensive activity, when your opponent is standing should be:

demon flip mixup
regular jumpin
tk ex air fireball
crossup tatsu

-edit and oh yeah, almost forgot if the opponents character cant duck the second hit of far hk… that is your go to option on offense, if they can, then you should basically never do it against anybody decent.

i didnt list those in best to worst order, however crossup tatsu is generally the best and regular jumpin is the worst.

when demon flipping in neutral, go for grabs the most until your opponent fears them, then do late divekicks.

use early palms if you think your opponent will try to air to air you, or just early jump out.

dont teleport when cornered, while waking up.


What you’re referring to kind of sounds like the early stages of zoning. By that I mean the concept of keeping an opponent where you want them to be on the screen. Your play style should ultimately depend on your opponent. For example, if you’re fighting Zangief or Honda, you don’t want to be too close most of the time. You want to control the freedom of movement of these characters with your fireballs and uppercuts. On the other hand, with someone like Sakura, you shouldn’t be too afraid to get in and start rushing her down. Alternatively, you might not get too much accomplished going fireball for fireball against someone like Sagat.

Rushdown Akuma is good. Runaway Akuma is also good. I sometimes base whether I play conservatively or not on what my life is in relation to my opponent’s. If I have a huge lead, there’s no reason to take unnecessary risks, y’know? Basically, I guess I’m saying that you should learn the rushdown game while not completely abandoning what you currently know about Akuma.

Also, your wife plays Street Fighter with you? That’s pro as hell, man.

I usaually keep away until I get an untechable knockdown. From then I start demon flip mixups or air fireball

Like Mariodood said, you need to have a good combination of both offense and defense.

Akuma’s mixup game is one of his greatest assets, learning how to get an opponent into a guessing game by applying pressure at the right moments is very good.

As you said, Akuma is weak however, which is why you need to play smart. You should practice how to play offensively but safely. Then switch to a defensive mode once you have a good lead.

Sounds like I’m some sort of philosopher. :lol:

runaway + rushdown = rushdaway…
rushdaway + akuma = rushdawakuma

so you basically want to play as a rushdawakuma. your welcome :slight_smile:

Learn to play both ways and adjust to the situation.

If you have Akuma, you need to play a mixture of both. But, if you are a pure defensive Akuma, then stop playing Akuma. His offense and footies are ridiculous.

Biggest issue with Akuma in SF4 is that his offense is not noob friendly. Its hard to execute and your execution needs to be nearly flawless due to his low health. So many scrubs just throw fireballs because his defensive game is pretty easy to execute. But learning his offense and performing it correctly will take months. Most people just aren’t down for doing months work of training to master Akuma. So, if you’re not down for the offensive training, then Akuma is not for you. Don’t fool yourself into thinking you’re mastered Akuma when all you do is throw fireballs and teleport.

since when was an akuma turtle strategy a good idea?
unless by that you mean constantly abusing fireballs.

If you want more offense game, practice Akuma’s BnB (anything that links to LK tatsu -> SRK).

More complicated offense will come from Akuma’s ‘vortex’. For this you’ll need untechable knockdowns (a knockdown that the opponent can’t quick stand from). You get this from Akuma’s sweep, throw, demon flip palm and Raging Demon. On wakeup you pressure with various demon flip moves, air tatsu crossups, etc, etc.

For more info though, you should hit up the Akuma specific forum, there are a lot of resources on techniques, combos and strategy there.

Best of luck to ya :slight_smile:

Whoa. Thank you all for your comments and advices. :smiley:

I have to explain a bit my playstyle.

I’ve played SF2 in it’s various reincarnations during the childhood time (am 27 now), with friends, on arcades, for fun. Was never doing combos, hadoukens, shoryukens (at least not intentionally), we were just playing for kicks.

Then the SF 4 came out and friends and I were like; “Whoa, this game is da shiznitz!”. And we started playing pretty often. I started maining Blanka, but after wining like 28 matches in a row against everybody (we play at my place, 5-10 people mostly), I sad screw him, I’ll switch to Sagat. Then, after wining another 28 matches in a row with thats beast Sagat, I said, screw Sagat (no hard feelings to Blanka and Sagat players, love them, but not as Akuma :slight_smile: I decided to try Akuma. And, thanks to his low hp, my wife, my friends, my bro’s started destroying me. But, after some time my wife bought us two TE sticks, and when I adapted to them, I’ve started playing Akuma pretty nicely. Started using training mode every day, and came to this point of play where I can land 90% of my ultra’s and super’s, fadc into both (as a matter of fact, that’s where I’m the best, in landing ultra and super, somehow I got really good timing for them, and punish hp’s, jump ins, missed srk’s, or getting off the floor while opponent tries to hit me), pull off BnB combos (lk tatsu+SRK in all variations), hit air fireballs forward, backward, block most of the attacks, demon flip in all combinations (even trained EX demon flip throw for hours to start sucessfully using it against other turtlings ;). I can’t pull some hard combos, am in process of learning those, but am more than ready to train and slowly build up my game. But I know I can use ultra as great anti air, I know that teleport is awesome thing most of the time, I know that hitting someone with ex air fireball will make him turtle and open him for demon flip. :smiley:

The problem occurs when I see that I’m turtling while I could play more offensivly. Then I give it a try, open up with demon flips, forward air fireballs, lp SRK’s, but then I start to play way too courageous, and it happens that I drop from 80% stamina to like 10% in 5 seconds, just because I stupidly forgot about turtling and keeping myself alive, due to loving Akuma’s offense.

So, yea, after all I’ve answered my own question right now (although I couldn’t do it without advices from you guys, thanks). I should mixup it a bit more. I should go rushdown sometimes when turtling, and go back to turtling after rushdown, and not let myself getting zoned in with bloodthirst, and loosing just because I thought to hit it hard and offensivly all the way to the end.

Thank you a lot, ppls. :smiley: That’s why I love SRK. :smiley:


Yeah, my wife plays SF with me. She’s the one who bought us 2 TE sticks. We roll a joint, smoke it, hit few dozen matches, and then I have to pay off my TE. In bed.

Akuma is meant for offense, he just so happens to have a defensive thing that people spam.

Akuma rivals seth in terms of offensive ability. Once you get to a higher level of play, and play a truly offensive Akuma, its such a pain in the ass.

play what suits you better, but youll get more mileage out of him if you be more offensive.

if you like playing defensive, then play guile, honda etc