Durango, it might be a good idea to take a look at Street Fighter Dojo. It’s is a wonderful place to see the best of the best go at it.
Here’s Fei’s page: http://streetfighterdojo.com/superturbo/feilong/feilongmatches.html
Pay particular attention to Noguchi’s matches. He is easily the best Fei Long I have ever seen. For instance, in his matches against Mattsun (http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=socdEt9T0Bw#t=86s) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=socdEt9T0Bw), he’ll give you an idea of how to be patient against fireballs.
Noguchi was essentially dead to rights in a couple of instances but used a combination of blocking fireballs, neutral jumping over them, and well-timed jump-ins to turn the tide in his favor. You have to remember that, as long as you are still “alive,” you still have a chance.
Let’s take your trouble matches one by one. This might be a bit lengthy but I’ll try to distill info into quick important points that you can integrate into your game immediately. Sure, there’s more to these matchups but there is such a thing as information overload when you’re just starting out.
From mid-range, standing HP is your friend. It will often shut down Bison’s scissors and crusher if you connect at their startup.
Be patient and don’t force jump-ins against him. He has aerial superiority and Fei’s jump is very floaty. If you become careless with jumps, the best Bisons will make you pay severely. With that said, jumping from mid-range (and when I say mid-range, I mean within about HP Rekka range) can be a good idea from time to time. Jump in with a LP to maintain control if you are above him. From there you can go into throw (most predictable option), st. LP to throw, cr. LP/LK to throw, LK/MK CW, hop kick (forward + HK) to HP/Rekka/throw/CW etc.
I can’t emphasize this enough: do not try to do predictive flame kicks. Sure, they’re awesome when they connect but, more often, they will leave you defenseless and Bison can easily punish missed flame kicks from half a screen away with his pokes and quick horizontal attacks.
Be ready to inch your way forward while remaining alert to block scissors/crushers. The better Bisons will make sure that only the second hit of their scissors connect so that they aren’t too close to you when they recover. That way, they can quickly jump back out without sustaining damage.
If you do notice that a Bison is silly enough to do a deep scissor (for two block ticks) be sure to thank him by CW in his face. Mix up the strengths between LK and MK so he isn’t sure whether you’ll flame kick afterwards, throw, or poke him to set him up. If you see a Bison do a HP crusher, nail him with HP Rekkas x 3. The best Bisons will only HP crusher to escape traps or to finish combos but the run of the mill Bisons will use them arbitrarily. Teach those Bisons a lesson with Rekkas.
Let Bison do the work for you. Bison’s strongest position in the matchup is at a distance from you. They’ll often jump away and to make you lose patience so they can try to score cheap knockdowns to TOD combos. If you notice Bison’s jumping away, don’t jump in or CW after them. Simply walk forward while they’re in the air until they corner themselves. This match is considerably less difficult once Bison is cornered.
Once Bison is cornered, the key is to mix it up. Mix up your rhythm to keep Bisons off balance. As always, don’t jump in predictably. Bison can elevate faster than you can and will punish ill advised jumps with MP juggles. Stay at midrange and stick out st. HP to stuff any scissor/crusher attempts, sneak in hop kicks, overheads, and, once you’ve scared them out of doing anything, you can often jump in freely to set up throws or CWs. Bisons will routinely jump backward while in the corner hoping that you’ll Rekka right into a TOD combo. Thus, use Rekkas sparingly. Instead, when you see them jump in the corner, you can make them land on cr. HP from a distance.
Be patient. Have you noticed a recurring theme yet? Dhalsim thrives on forcing you to make silly mistakes. If you’re patient and block fireballs instead of trying to jump forward, you can give even the best Sims fits.
Rekka, Rekka, Rekka! You can safely fish for Rekka combos by using the HP to MP Rekka string. If the MP Rekka is blocked, then finish the string with a MP/LP Rekka. If you connect, finish with HP Rekka.
You will regularly see Sims mix up their fireballs with flames. If you see Sim do a flame from a distance and it doesn’t make contact with you, you have a chance to score some free damage. The key is to wait for the flame to nearly dissipate and then to nail him with the HP Rekka string. Onscreen, it will look like Sim is still spitting the flame but its hitting frames will have expired and you can Rekka right through the flame that you see onscreen. It’ll take practice but, once you get the hang of it, you will put the fear of God into Sims who try to use the flame.
You cr. HP regularly. It will often stuff or exchange favorably with Sim’s slides. Also, if Sim does a yoga fire from mid-range, you can sometimes crouch beneath it and hit him scot-free with the cr. HP.
Use a lot of the same corner strategy against Sim that you do against Bison–only this time, work in Rekkas and use cr. HP instead of cr. MK.
I love the hop kick in this match because it closes the distance and because it has a high dizzy rate. If you connect with both hits, try to finish the combo with a cr. MP. Sure, you can combo with st. HP, cr. HP, cr. MK as well, but the MP comes out faster than the HPs and has greater range than the cr. MK. If you connect with any one of these combos, you’re all but guaranteed a dizzy.
When Sim jumps away from you, don’t jump after him–Fei walks faster than he jumps. If you see him do a drill you can mash st. LK to stuff them 100% of the time while well-timed st. MK is effective as well. I prefer LK because it’s hard to miss with and will knock Sim back…that much closer to the corner.
With all due respect (that is, a LOT of respect) to the great Jiggly Norris, I think this match is best played defensively. You want to master three moves: st. HP, st. LK and st. HK. The st. HP keeps him at bay on the ground and if he jumps in from a distance. The latter two moves will counter his jumps from midrange. I prefer the st. HK because, of course, it does more damage but the LK is fine is you aren’t confident with the HK timing.
The Rekkas and CWs should be done very, very, very sparingly. Rekkas will often be met with Lariats for an easy knockdown. You don’t want that. The Rekkas are most effective when you have trained Gief not to expect them.
In the videos that we’ve linked to, you have probably noticed that the CW is very effective against Gief. That is NOT the case in HDR. It’s not unusual to see Giefs laughingly absorb the CW hit and then pile drive (due to the CW’s recovery, Geif can recover from being hit faster than you do from performing the attack). Or they can Lariat the CW. Or they can block the CW, wait for flame kick and then sweep. Or notice that you don’t flame kick afterward and then pile drive. Long story short, you want to save the CW for when you notice that the Gief likes to jump a lot (or you have forced him to try to jump thanks to your solid ground attack). This will score you free juggles but you don’t want to make a living by throwing out CWs.
Stay alert! Gief can close the gap very quickly. He has three primary tools to get around your ground pokes. From most to least scary: green hand, forward hop, and running bear grab. You want to learn what the start of those moves look like so you can either poke him out of them using cr. MP (best option), cr. HP (good option), or st. MP/MK/LK (these are solid if your timing is good. Otherwise, you risk a trip to SPDville). You can also just jump away from him while covering yourself with a j. MK or j. LP.
Those tools that I mentioned can be used against him. How? Bait them by doing feints such as st. LP or st. MP from a distance, pump faking (wiggling the stick to make your opponent think that you’re going to do a special move), and swaying back and forth to keep him off balance. When Giefs think that they’ve lulled you to sleep, they’ll do one of the aforementioned moves to catch you with an SPD. Little does he know that you were actually trying to bait them when you pop him with a st. HP!
Be wary of the Lariat! Giefs will try to bait you into attacking them with cr. HP by doing strong Lariats from a distance and then pile drive you when try to attack beneath it because it has deceptive recovery. When in doubt, stay further out and poke with cr. MP. If your opponent is trying to stupefy you by doing Lariats a full screen away, don’t waste that chance: charge your super meter by doing flame kicks on the opposite side of the screen–all the while remaining alert for a sneak attack.
Your j. LP outclasses most of Gief’s jumping attacks. If you see Gief jumping carelessly, you can use the j. LP to poke him out of the air and then jump away when you land or bait the SPD and then flame kick.
Deep meaty attacks aren’t advisable against any fallen grappler–especially not Gief. Instead, you can do a shallow cr. HP as Gief is getting up (so that your hands are just making contact and you aren’t elbow deep). Don’t do meaties every time you knock Gief down because Gief can easily counter with a light Lariat (otherwise known as the Guided Dragon Punch).
Standing HP is your best friend in this match but you don’t want to become predictable with it because Fat Boy will just time it and nail you with a headbutt.
Something most Feis don’t utilized is his st. MP in this match. Don’t be like most Feis. The st. MP can stuff headbutts like the st. HP but is noticeably faster. The trade off is that it doesn’t have the same range as the HP so Honda can trade more often. I’d say that the pros outway the cons and this move is worthy of inclusion. Mix up your attacks between st. MP and st. HP to throw Honda off balance.
Jump away MK can stuff headbutts. Furthermore, if Honda does a HP headbutt while you’re jumping away with the MK in the corner, you can then nail him with a st. HP to Rekka x 3. Just don’t try the j. MK when Honda has a super charged!
When you knock him down, cross him up. If he is hit/blocks, just finish the Rekka string. Often Honda, will do a butt slam to “escape” the crossup. Remember that the butt slam has recovery. If he butt slams, make sure that you greet him with HP Rekkas (just don’t do them prematurely or you’ll end up beneath him!).
Use the same shallow meaties that I mentioned against Gief.
CWs should be used sparingly and, when they are used, you should opt for the MK variety. It comes out faster than the HK so it’s easier to juggle with (if he headbutts) and keeps you from getting too close to him (if he gets hit or blocks it). The MK CW will ensure that you don’t have to follow up with flame kick if Honda remains grounded.
Once you get a life lead, back off and make Honda come to you for a change. You can often force him to jump, in which case you can poke him out of the air with st. HK, j. HK/MK, or make him land in cr. HP (depending on his aerial attack) or flame kick.
Honda is one of Fei’s worst matches and, all things being equal, you might lose more than you win. But if you face Hondas that are less skilled than you are, you will can win 90% of the time despite the handicap. There’s hope!
You can keep her in the corner and you will. You just have to be patient because Chun is another character who will annoy you to death.
The reason that Kikoken to sweep “trap” is so effective against you is that you are jumping in from too far away. If you jump from too far away, she will recover in time to poke you out of the air with any number of her attacks. You must neutral jump from a distance (be sure to cover yourself with neutral j. LP).
At midrange, you can poke her with cr. MP which will often stuff or trade with Kikokens.
If you notice that she likes to neutral jump and light kick (a common Chun strategy) you can walk up and make her land in a cr. HP.
If she jumps away, walk forward. A projectile character can’t throw fireballs while they are jumping away–seize that opportunity to close the gap!
Don’t forget to go Rekka fishing. You can do HP>MP>MP/LP Rekka strings fairly safely.
Once you have her cornered, don’t make the mistake of thinking that you can mindlessly CW your way to victory. While LK/MK CWs are effective (you absolutely must mix up the strengths!) so are cr. MP, cr. MK, cr. HP (be sure to continue to make her land on it when she neutral jumps in the corner), overhead, j. LP to CW or to cl. HP to CW or LK flame kick.
When Chuns are cornered,they might try to bounce off the wall to escape. Under no circumstances can you let that mistake go unpunished. Either make her land in a deep LK flame kick. Or do an early MK/HK flame kick (so that only the last part of the second hit connects with her while she is elevated) and then do another HK flame kick for a juggle (note that you can also go into a super if you have it).
Finally, throw the bleep out of that wench! Mix it up between your punch and kick throws and soon enough she’ll be doing upkicks out of desperation, in which case you can punish with a Rekka, flame kick, cr. HP (x2 if you’re close enough). If she techs your throws, you can walk under her, jump after her, or CW back into her face to wipe her out before she knows what hit her.
Last word: a common mistake that Fei players make is thinking that they have to hurry once their opponents are cornered. Take your time. The rushdown is most effective when your opponent knows that you can wait it out as long as they can. It’s surgery after all.