Sim’s ultra is the best in the game. Unlike most characters, whose ultras have to be both jugglable and combo-into-able to be useful, Sim’s is useful in a whole bunch of different situations. It’s alright as a reversal wakeup attack, it’s great for meaty aegis games, it’s great for making the opponent back up or forcing him into bad situations, it’s a great chip killer, it’s good in combos and juggles, and it’s even good as an antiair. Learning to use the ultra well is huge for your Dhalsim game. Here’s a nice convenient thread where all of your options with it can be put in one place, and where we can all figure out the best ways to use it. Feel free to post up what you think his best setups, mixups, and other uses are, and if you have any I haven’t thought of, I’ll put update these first posts to include them.
Basic list of tools:
Ultra, 1+11 startup frames, max 142 active frames, max 69 hitting frames. It can hang out there for a total of 142 frames, but once it touches the opponent, whether on hit or block, it’ll only be there for a maximum of 69 more frames. If it touches the opponent with only 20 frames out of 142 left, the normal 69 hitting frames will be reduced to only 20, since the 142 number is the ultimate limit. Sim is totally vulnerable to hits and throws during the entire startup time, but the ultra always comes out regardless of what happens. Once it starts hitting, it does 5 hits of 40 damage each for 200 total damage, but if it hits the opponent late in its 142 total frames, it will do something fewer than 5 hits (still at 40 damage per hit). Blocking doesn’t affect this 5-hit total, the hits only start to be counted once the ultra actually starts hitting.
After the ultra hits, you have a few options. You can do a little more damage by reseting the opponent with a juggled normal; you can juggle into super or juggle into mummy into super, which knocks the opponent down and doesn’t let him quick stand, letting you set up a jab fireball teleport trap or whatever kind of situation you want; or you can just let the opponent land without juggling at all, which also stops him from quick rising.
Short slide, 3 startup, 8 hitting, 12 recovery: This is Sim’s fastest-hitting low normal and tied for his fastest-hitting normal overall. Does 30 damage points. Gotta wait 23 frames to try something else.
Back+jab overhead, 14 startup, 2(1)2 hitting, 11 recovery: Kind of a slow overhead, does 50 damage. Gotta wait 30 frames to try something else.
Jumping toward jab, 10 startup (3 frames of jump startup plus 7 frames for jumping to jab to come out), 56 recovery: This is a great overhead in the sense that it comes out really fast. It’s also two mixups in one; jump toward immediate jab results in an instant overhead, while jump toward, wait just a couple frames, then jab results in an instant overhead crossup, and it’s impossible for the opponent to tell which one is going to come out. Unfortunately, since Sim’s jump is so laggy, you have to wait 66 frames to do anything else, which means that if you try this once the ultra touches the opponent, your 69 available ultra frames will run out before you can try anything else. It’s also only safe if you try it near the beginning of the ultra, since if you do it any later and your opponent blocks, he’ll recover from the blockstun from the ultra faster than you’ll recover from your jump. Does only 20 damage.
Back+strong, 6 startup, 6 hitting, 11 recovery: This is just a regular mid attack, so it’s not for mixups, but it can be useful for setups in something like antiair back+strong xx jab fire, ultra or just antiair back+strong, immediate ultra. Some opponents can escape post-antiair back+strong ultras. Does 70 damage.
Back+roundhouse, 6 startup, 5 hitting, 15 recovery: Like back+strong, this can be alright as an antiair setup, but it’s not as good as back+strong because of its extra recovery and lack of cancelability. It’s mentioned here because there are some air attacks that back+strong is best against and there are others that back+roundhouse is best against, you have to use both. Sim’s most damaging normal at 110 damage.
Crouching jab, 9 startup, 4 hitting, 11 recovery: Comes out pretty fast, but does only 15 damage, the lowest damage number in the game. Gotta wait 24 frames to try something else.
Jump back fierce instant overhead, 12 startup, 56 recovery: Very similar to jumping jab in that it comes out very quickly, but once you commit to it, it’s the last mixup you’ll get because it lasts a total of 68 frames. Luckily you’re safe even if you try it towards the end of the ultra because it moves you so far away. Unfortunately, it only works from a particular range. Does 70 damage.
Instant air toward punch teleport: Leaves you in the air just above the ground right behind the opponent, useful for teleport into air back+fierce overhead (back+fierce because it starts up in 6 frames instead of regular fierce’s 9) or for landing into instant short slide. You have 30 frames of recovery after reappearing, then some number of frames while you’re in the air, then (I think) 3 frames of recovery on landing. How many air frames you have depends on how high in the air you did the teleport, but you should do it as low as possible while still being airborne, a bit higher for doing air back+fierce and a bit lower for landing into short slide. Regardless, this recovers faster than a regular grounded teleport, and it shouldn’t take more than 40 or so frames before you can try something else.
Instant air toward kick teleport: Just like the instant air toward punch lariat except that it leaves you in the air just above the ground right in front of the opponent.
Instant air back kick teleport: Leaves you about half a screen in front of the opponent. This is useful to fake the opponent out in left-right teleport mixups when you’re worried about the opponent reversaling with something.
Neutral or toward throw, 3 frames: Leaves the opponent right in front of you and does 120 damage, opponent can’t quick rise. Useful to set up ultras and, in some setups, leaves the opponent on the ground waiting to get mixed up into an already present ultra.
Back throw, 3 frames: Throws the opponent pretty far behind you and does 120 damage, opponent can’t quick rise. Useful to set up ultras.
Jab yoga fire, 14 startup, 48 recovery: This is really useful for certain setups, like if you’re at mid range with the opponent cornered and you want to throw Feel free to post up what you think his best setups, mixups, and other uses are, and if you have any I haven’t thought of, I’ll put update these first posts to include them. out an ultra without risking that your opponent will escape with some invincible move. With 62 total frames before you can do something else, you have to be certain that your opponent isn’t close enough to smack you or escape with something on reaction to your fire. Use the jab version because it’s slow enough to still be out there when the ultra is out there, it stays out without disappearing much longer than strong or fierce, and it doesn’t knock down. Strong and fierce fires knock the opponent into a juggle state, which can be good, but it’s bad for your ultra setups because it can let the opponent fall and escape the ultra entirely, and even if the opponent gets up into the ultra, that means that he gets another chance to escape with some invincible move. Not worth it. Jab fire does 50 damage.
Strong/fierce yoga fire, 14 startup, 48 recovery: Unlike the jab fire, these actually knock the opponent down and can set up an ultra. Strong fire does 70 damage and fierce does 80.
EX yoga fire, 14 startup, 50 recovery: This has two hits. It doesn’t knock down if it hits the opponent while he’s standing, but it does if the opponent is in the air. If used as an antiair it can set up an ultra, but otherwise it’s more useful in situations where you’d use jab fire but want some extra blockstun and chip damage.
Yoga flame. Which strength is used doesn’t really matter on this move, both because basically the only time you’ll use it is in combos and because their recoveries are all fairly similar (except for the ex version, which is considerably longer). The opponent gets knocked down and thrown a little ways in front of you, giving you a decent setup for an immediate ultra. The only problem is that the opponent can still quick rise, so you can’t be sure when he’ll get up and some characters can actually just jump out of post-flame ultra setups. Does 80 damage.
EX up flame, 5 startup, 17 hitting, 30 recovery: Starts up fast, has a great hitbox, and knocks the opponent down, so it’s another good antiair setup. Does 100 damage.
Super, 1+3 startup, 21 recovery: The super makes a great setup for an ultra. The opponent can’t quick stand after a super, which means that everyone has to wake up into the ultra after a super. The super can also juggle after a successful ultra mixup for lots of health. It does 350 damage.
General words about setups and goals
Street Fighter isn’t just a game of dealing damage, it’s about a game of control, especially of space and options, and that control is often how you can force your opponent into damaging situations. So when you’re going for an ultra setup, yes, of course the best case scenario involves you damaging the opponent, but that’s not necessarily always your main goal. It can be just as important to make sure that you force your opponent into another bad situation or out of a situation that was bad for you. For example, say you just got knocked down so that you’re about 2/3 of a screen away from the corner, with you now facing the corner. Now say your opponent is rushing at you, but you really don’t have enough life to afford to be able to deal with his mixups. This is a really bad situation for you to be in; your opponent currently has control of the match. But if you throw out an ultra here, you immediately turn the tables. He can’t keep rushing up to you because that means he’ll have to either get hit by or try to block an ultra, so instead he’ll back himself up, thereby not only getting rid of his pressure and control but giving you control, since you’re now safe to set up whatever you want and since the opponent has to corner himself. If you’re close enough to the corner, he might even have to block and you might even get a chance to mix him up before the ultra dissipates. If what you need is for the opponent to back up, then great, the ultra is there for you.
This is a long way of saying that ultra setups are all about controlling the opponent, and what kind of control you want to assert should depend on the situation you’re in. If you’re in a situation like the one above, the most important kind of control is to force the opponent out of a situation that’s good for him and into one that’s bad for him. If you’re in a regular kind of situation, the most important kind of control is the one that forces your opponent to take damage and to have to make plain ol’ guesses to avoid taking more. Cerrtain opponents can escape or hit you out of certain setups, as I’ll talk about in the third post, so you have to tailor your setups and your mixups to make sure that you, and not your opponent, retain control at all times. Make sure you position yourself in such a way that you keep maximum control over as many different options as possible and make sure that you leave open as many options for yourself as you can.
Probably my favorite thing about Sim’s ultra is that it’s almost impossible to waste. Almost every setup almost always pays off in at least one way, whether in damage, in getting you out of a jam, in making your opponent corner himself, or, if nothing else, just getting your opponent to move a full screen away from you, which lets you get to whatever sweet spot position you want to be in. Apart from throwing out ultra randomly from 3/4 of a screen away, getting thrown out of a random ultra, or make some actual mistake like trying antiair ultra to beat a crossup attempt, you pretty much can’t waste the ultra. Obviously you should concentrate on setting up some of these setups more than others, and you should always want to deal damage with the ultra even if your main goal is a positional one. But honestly, almost every time is a good time for an ultra. It’s just that certain times are better than others.
General words about mixups
You have two kinds of mixups in general: high-low and left-right. You get the high-low mixups by doing one of the close/far overheads or a close/far low attack. You get the left-right mixups by teleporting to one side or the other. This works because the opponent always has to block away from where Sim is, and when you teleport, he has to start blocking away from where you end up immediately upon your reappearance, which really can’t be reacted to in time. He can’t be sure which side you’re going to end up on, so he just has to guess which way to block. You can also combine these two kinds of mixups for left-right high-low mixups in the form of teleporting to one side or another with an air fierce or a crouching short. And of course you can also mix the opponent up by varying the timing on any particular one of these things.
Like with most things in Street Fighter, you generally want to minimize the risk to yourself while keeping open as many opportunities for dealing damage as you can. With this in mind, I think a few of Sim’s options start to look a little worse in most situations.
The biggest losers are jumping toward jab and jump back fierce, both of which work great as instant overheads (even instant crossup overhead, in the case of jump toward jab), but which make it so that you can’t try any more shenanigans if you try them once the ultra touches the opponent. In general, if you’re close, I think back+jab overhead is better. If you’re far, the opponent knows you’re going to want to use a crouching jab so you can get multiple mixup attempts, and this combined with the fact that jump back fierce only works from a specific far range means that the far high-low game is kind of weak. In general, teleport shenanigans are probably better. That’s not to say that jumping jab and the far high-low mixup are useless, they’re definitely not. For example, they’re less risky than the other high-low options, so in situations where you need to be off the ground or far away, they’re good options. It’s just that they’re pretty situation-specific.
Unlike jumping jab and fierce, the grounded up close high-low shenanigans let you try 2-4 mixups per ultra, which is awesome. At the same time, they’re also riskier in some situations. Many opponents can literally respond on reaction to your ultra with reversal ex dragon punches, ex flash kicks, ex green hands, lariats, headbutts, 360s, ultras, supers, etc; in other words, in some situations this is basically asking for trouble. Again, this isn’t to say that the up close high-low game is bad, because it isn’t. You really only have to worry about being punished up close if you set the ultra out too late or if your opponent has an invincible grab or something, so you’re safe in lots of cases as long as you wait to start mixing the opponent up after he starts blocking or getting hit (so that if he wants a reversal attack you don’t get hit and can punish it, and if he doesn’t reversal, you can mix him up once he gets caught in the ultra), although you should sometimes hit him beforehand just to keep him honest. You can also try this if you set the ultra out from farther away and then teleport up into high-low games. The up close high-low game is really good if you can set it up because you can get 2-4 chances to mix it up, but again, this is situation-specific.
Probably the most dependable games are the left-right teleport mixups. Teleports can give you 2-3 mixups per ultra and at the same time they’re generally safe. The only situations you have to worry about are where the opponent has an invincible down-charge reversal so that crossing him up doesn’t make a difference in his reversal abilities and where the opponent just correctly guesses which way you’re going to go and does an invincible reversal in that direction. The risk of this can be taken out by making sure that your teleport doesn’t become hittable on its recovery until after the ultra starts touching the opponent.
General words about antiair ultra
Antiair ultra is good. Yes, your opponent’s air attack will still hit you if it’s close enough, but then they’ll get juggled for 200 damage and whatever else you want to juggle with. This almost always comes out in your favor, especially if you’re up on life. The ultra is at its best as an antiair when the opponent comes in a little in front of you or right over your head; it won’t do anything about crossups except get you hit. You should try to time this early so that you don’t risk your opponent recovering on the ground before getting hit and so that you can sometimes escape getting hit by the opponent’s jump in. Watch out for characters who can alter their jump trajectory mid-jump, since they can sometimes get around the ultra on reaction.
Why not just do antiair super, you say? Well if you have both super and ultra ready, depending on your situation it might be better to do antiair ultra, take a hit, then dash forward or mummy and juggle with super for 550 total damage, over half life on most characters. Or, depending on the situation (like if you’re low on life), it might be better to do an invincible antiair super for 350 damage and then set up an ultra on the opponent’s wakeup; this is both safer and gives you the potential for dealing more overall damage, since this way you get to juggle more after the ultra, although it also means you risk not dealing damage on the ultra at all if your opponent blocks it right.
General words about random ultra
Wakeup ultra is alright. Again, although the ultra always comes out, Sim is totally vulnerable to both attacks and throws during the entire ultra startup, and since the ultra takes 11 slowed-down frames to come out, and since the opponent has all day to react to those frames with whatever he wants, doing wakeup ultra can be really unsafe because it can be punished hard on reaction with lots of things. If the opponent stuck an attack out before you started your ultra, it’ll still hit you, but the ultra will hit his recovery for full damage, and if he hit you with something that didn’t knock down and didn’t do much hitstun, you can still recover to juggle him or set up a trap for him once he lands. If he’s close enough to throw and he pressed throw either before the ultra or during its startup, you’re gonna get thrown (since you can’t throw tech here) and the ultra will go right through the opponent because you can’t be hit while throwing.
Basically, wakeup ultra means the opponent can’t try his regular meaty pressure (crouching jab/short or whatever he normally wants). Just the threat of it can keep people off you, and that’s great, because you should really only use it sparingly. You really don’t want to risk getting smacked with an invincible move on reaction, and it sucks to get thrown out of the ultra both damage-wise and because you’ve just 100% wasted an ultra.
Wakeup super is better in some ways because you’re actually invincible for a bit and you’ll hit anything that doesn’t have invincibility against projectiles. You don’t want to bet your super on that kind of situation very often, though, both because you want it for antiairs and combos and because some characters can punish it on block.
Ultra in pressure
There are two types of situations where you can throw an ultra out during pressure: when you’re being pressured, and when you’re pressuring your opponent. Doing it when you’re under pressure is pretty similar to doing it on your wakeup. You want to try to do it when your opponent has an attack out so that he gets hit by the ultra and you don’t want to do it when he might throw, but what you really want is for him to get off your back, whether that be by getting hit with the ultra or by seeing the ultra and moving backwards. Doing it when you’re pressuring your opponent is more about baiting him into getting hit by it. If you think he’s going to try to counter poke you or try some get-off-me move, throw out your ultra. If he did nothing, that’s not a big deal; if he sits and blocks, mix up, and if he moves back, that’s a-ok. If he did a normal, boom, he’ll get hit. If he did something like a dragon punch or whatever, you’ll get hit, but most wakeups will either trade with the ultra or fall back into the ultra, both for full ultra damage. As with all random ultras, be on the lookout for throws and people reacting to your ultra with ultras or other fully invincible forward-moving attacks of their own.