101 Series: Sagat

The 101 series is meant to help new players quickly get acclimated to a character and to give them the knowledge and tools to play effectively with a character as fast as possible. This series won’t be covering the complex aspects of each character, rather we will talk about the basic points of the character and what makes them strong. It is our hope that this series serves as a jumping-off point for you to more deeply explore the character.

What is he good at?

Sagat, is a very classic type of fighter, in that his game plan has always been very simple: throw a lot of fireballs from far away to frustrate the opponent and then uppercut them when they decide to jump. In SFV, this gameplan is virtually unchanged. Sagat has a great fireball game, lots of anti-airs and the ability to cancel the beginning of his f.MK and f.HK attacks into his specials. A technique known as “kara-ing.” If you are the type of player who enjoys playing a basic fireball uppercut game and dishing out hard damage when the opponent makes mistakes, Sagat is definitely the character for you.

 

Footsies

Sagat’s footsies will mostly revolve around his fireball game, alternating between low and high Tiger Shots [qcf.LK and qcf.LP, respectively]. Although he does have a great set of normal attacks that help keep the enemy at bay.

s.MK

Sagat’s s.MK is one of his longest-reaching normals that doesn’t cause him to move forward. This attack has him reach his leg out almost horizontally, which allows it to go over low attacks almost entirely. He cannot cancel it into any special attacks, but it is great for keeping enemies at by at about half a screen length away. It’s also less risky than throwing a fireball, if you’re worried about your opponent jumping.

qcf.P

Sagat’s high Tiger Shot special attack. The speed it moves depends on what button you press, with LP being the slowest, and HP being the fastest. This attack will not hit opponents who are crouching. For that reason it’s useful for keeping opponents in place. An opponent who is crouching cannot move and so this serves as a way to make opponents impatient and want to jump. It should also be noted that the punch version of tiger shot animation ends more quickly than the kick version.

qcf.K

Sagat’s low Tiger Shot or “Grand Tiger Shot” special attack. Like the punch version, the button you press depends on how quickly it moves. LK being the slowest and HK being the fastest. This attack, although the animation is longer, will hit opponents who are crouching.

Anti-Air

 

*PRO-TIP*

You Must Learn to Kara
Sagat has a myriad of anti-air options for nearly every range and situation. It should be noted that in situations where you believe a normal Tiger Uppercut [dp.P] will not hit, you should consider using a kara tiger uppercut by cancelling the beginning of f.HK or f.MK into a tier uppercut. To perform this, simple do the forward moving normal attack and quickly input the dragon punch motion. It is easier to do with the f.MK attack, however, to truly master the character you should eventually master doing it with the f.HK into dragon punch.

dp.LP / dp.MP

Sagat’s main anti-air. If you want to be successful with the character, you must learn to punish jump attacks with tiger uppercut. The dp.LP has very little forward range, but will never lose to a jumping attack. Meanwhile, dp.MP will sometimes trade with jump in attacks from your opponent but does have a bit more forward range.

f.HK

If your opponent performs a jump from very far away, you can do a heavy punish with f.HK. If this hits, it will put the opponent in a juggle state that will allow you to follow-up with a tiger uppercut for more damage.

j.MP

In some rare cases, you may opt to take to the sky with your opponent to beat their air attack. If you decide to do this, j.MP should be your go to button. Like other basic, fireball/uppercut characters, this move will also put the opponent in a juggle state should it hit them. You can usually follow up on the ground with a tiger uppercut to finish them off.

Combos

No-Resource Combos

c.LK, c.LP xx dp.HP / dp.MK

Your basic combo starter from a light attack. If you’re aiming to get more damage, go with the HP Tiger Uppercut [dp.HP]. Use the Tiger Knee [dp.MK] instead if you’re looking to push your opponent further into the corner, get yourself out of the corner, or put your opponent in a lock-down fireball situation when they recover from the knockdown. Considering this begins from a light attack, you’re likely not going to be doing a heavy punish and should opt to most often finish with the tiger knee

s.MP, c.MP xx dp.HP / dp.HK

This is your combo starter that also acts as a frame trap. Keep in mind that doing the HK version of the tiger knee really moves you far forward, allowing you to make up a lot of ground, however your ability to set the opponent up with they recover is weakened a bit. If you’re really trying to set the opponent up here, you’ll likely want to finish with the MK version of tiger knee. It will net you less damage, but the trade-off is more potential damage when they get up.

s.HK, c.MP xx dp.HP

Your heavy punish using no resources.

Resource Combos

s.HK, c.MP xx dp.LK, dp.PP [CORNER]

This combo requires the opponent be in the corner when follow-up. The dp.PP hits the opponent very very low to the ground, and your first inclination is that they will not be able to be hit, but definitely practice this so you can see for yourself and make better informed decisions in a real match. It’s possible, just doesn’t look so at first glance.

s.HK, c.MP xx qcf.PP, f.HK[dp.PP] or [dp.P [scar]]

Sagat’s strongest combo option using one bar. This combo is a bit tricky because it requires a f.HK kara Tiger Uppercut. My recommendation is to use this whenever you have a scar stocked [V-Skill]. Having to use EX Tiger Uppercut is really a lot of resources to be used on a simple punish, and honestly isn’t worth the meter usage.

Offense

Frame Traps

s.LP, s.MP, c.MP

Sagat’s frame traps are really simple, but there is absolutely a lot to unpack here with the ability to throw fireballs and perform tiger knees. The s.LP, s.MP, c.MP frame trap has a lot that it allows. If the opponent tries to attack between the s.LP, s.MP they will be counter-hit and you can follow up with the c.MP into Tiger Knee or Tiger Uppercut. On the chance that you have Critical Art stock, after the counter-hit s.MP, you can do s.HK, qcf.qcf.K. This is not a cancel and will require you to link the super. Please practice this before attempting in a real match as the timing feels a little strange.

If the opponent blocks the entire string, you can perform either a LP Tiger Shot [qcf.LP] or LK Grand Tiger Shot [qcf.LK]. If you do the LP Tiger shot, the opponent must duck and you can follow up with a LK Tiger Knee [dp.LK]. If you do LK Tiger Shot, you can do a HK Tiger Knee. If the opponent blocks this, you can follow up with a s.LK and will almost always beat an opponent’s attack.

Okizeme [Knockdown Pressure]

Sagat’s knockdown pressure is very straight forward and actually probably among the safest in the entire game. He doesn’t need to commit to running up and guessing the opponents wake up, whether it’s quick or back recovery. He can simply throw fireballs and set up traps if the opponent wakes up.

dp.LK

After the LK Tiger Knee, you should immediately throw a LP Tiger Shot. The opponent must guard this regardless if they quick or back recover. From there, you should immediately throw a HK Grand Tiger Shot. If the opponent jumps over the fireball, you will always be in position to anti-air them. If they are far away, do a f.HK followed by a dp.HP. If they are close, simply dp.LP. If the opponent blocks they will be back to full screen and Sagat and continue the fireball / anti-air game.

dp.MK / dp.HK

This is the same as above except the fire Tiger Shot you throw should be MP Tiger Shot, instead of the LP Tiger Shot. The set-ups work the same.

b.Throw

If Sagat back throws the opponent, you can immediately spend 1 meter by doing EX Tiger Knee [dp.KK]. After the Tiger knee, you will have advantage and will be able to follow up with s.MP

Defense

Like any other basic shoto-style character’s, Sagat’s defense rests on his EX Tiger Uppercut, with it’s invincibility. In addition, his V-Reversal [f.KKK] will knock the opponent down and put some space between the two characters so Sagat can start up his fireball game again. Be careful however as, if it is blocked, he is at a disadvantage.

V-System

Sagat’s V-Skill is fairly straight forward. By pressing MP + MK, he performs Angry Charge, a power-up move that charges up energy and if successful, his next Tiger Uppercut will have some additional properties. It will juggle in some combos that it previously did not juggle in before [Check the combo section for more information here]. It also has improve damage and stun [+ 30 DMG / + 50 STUN]. You cannot stack this effect multiple times, by doing multiple. The animation for Angry Charge is quite long, so really be careful when you use it. Sagat gains V-gauge if he hits an opponent with a powered up Tiger Uppercut.

Recommended V-Trigger 2 Combo:
s.HK, s.MP xVTx, s.HP xx f.HP+HK xx HP + HK [Level 2 Charge] f.HK[dp.HP]

Sagat’s V-Trigger 2 will be your V-Trigger of choice. It affords him two new attacks that work in tandem to force the opponent away from Sagat, while also giving him greater combo opportunity up close. His first move, Tiger Spike, is a chargeable kick attack that can be charged to 3 levels. The first level is a basic hit and can be achieved by simply tapping HP + HK. The second level, if you hold HP + HK, will have Sagat perform the kick attack, however if it hits, will cause the opponent to spin in mid-air and in some situations will allow you to follow-up with a f.HK kara HP Tiger Uppercut. Finally, the level 3 version if the attack is held to it’s maximum length will guard-break a blocking opponent, allowing you again to follow up with a f.HK kara HP Tiger Uppercut. What makes this attack even better is that it has a single hit of super armor, allowing it absorb some attacks and then retaliate. To get the maximum potential from this move, you need to make your opponent afraid of the level 3 and then hit them with the level 2 when they try to get away from the charging animation.

The second attack Sagat gains in V-Trigger 2 is Tiger Rush. This is a two step forward moving attack that you can cancel the ending of into Tiger Spike. Be careful as this attack can usually be punished if blocked by an opponent.

Sagat’s V-Trigger 1, will be your V-trigger in certain match-ups where both Sagat and the enemy fight from far away. Characters like Guile who can compete with Sagat’s fireball game from far away, might be good candidates for V-Trigger 1. Sagat’s V-Trigger 1, gives him access to a 5-hit fireball that travels very quickly, and cannot be ducked under. This can help turn the tide in some situations where you’re having trouble competing in the fireball war. You can use this to quickly gain the advantage. In addition, these fireballs can be canceled into from Sagat’s s.HP or c.HP allowing him some hard hitting combo opportunities if you’re close and need to dish out some more damage.

East’s Corner 04: Fuudo is Great

So for those of you who don’t know, I live in Tokyo, Japan and I count myself very lucky that the fighting game scene here in Tokyo is well supported and very active. On a given week, I see top players at events and locals. I also have been fortunate enough to be able to help out with some events that happen here. If you’re familiar with Dragon Ball Fighter Z, I help out with the Tuesday event, that’s broadcast on www.twitch.tv/animeilluminati called Fighting Tuesday. As a side note, if you haven’t seen it and you’re interested in top level Dragon Ball Fighter Z play in Japan, I wholeheartedly recommend you check out some of the archives there.

I digress, sometimes I also have a chance to help out with the Thursday BeastTV stream where Fuudo teaches newer players, primarily a guy named “Handsome Orikasa,” about SFV. Again, if you haven’t seen it, I really recommend you watch the archives. Now Fuudo is an EVO chamion in Street Fighter and so it’s really interesting to watch him teach a new player about SFV, especially because you have a chance to really see the game through his lens and how he thinks about situations. Sometimes I’m just absolutely floored at how knowledgeable, smart, and to a degree, how crafty he is in just thinking about how the game should be played.

Let me give you an example. So on August 23rd, I helped with the stream, and half the stream was dedicated to teaching Handsome Orikasa how to fight against Necalli and some of the common tactics of Necalli players. The second half was dedicated to teaching much newer players how to play the game. We did this really fun drawing of people who were at the Red Bull Gaming Sphere for the regular Thursday SFV session. A guy named “James” from Australia won the drawing, so he had a chance to have Fuudo watch him play, critique his game and give him some tips. James sits down and they immediately put him into a lobby, where he fights one game online using his main character, Nash. Just from the way he plays, you can tell that James is a little nervous, but he gives it his best but unfortunately loses the match.

During the match, I took the mental notes of what I would say, and I thought to myself, “If this guy just finished his combos and got knockdowns more consistently, he’d be doing fine. Maybe a few more anti-airs.”

When it came time for Fuudo to give him advice after the match, they immediately went into training mode and Fuudo went into teaching mode. Rather than harp on the combo drops or sub-optimal combos James did during the match, he said the following [I’m paraphrasing here because James had pretty good Japanese but sometimes was a bit lost so I did some VERY ROUGH translating.]

“Nash is a character whose backdash and forward dash are really good. His backdash is pretty quick, and his forward dash is really quick and moves really far. You should use this to your advantage. When you’re in neutral, backdash, to get space and then throw a fireball. Once you’ve thrown a fireball you’re pretty much free to move because your opponent has to worry about it. Once you’ve established your space with the backdash, you can then start to chip away at your opponent. You have other options, like forward dashing and throwing, using the mk version of scythe, etc.

Also don’t worry about getting cornered. This plan is going to have you moving back a lot, but once you get cornered and get beat up a little, You can just V-Reversal. Nash is one of the few character’s whose V-Reversal allows him to move to the other side of the opponent. Once you V-Reversal, just backdash again and keep running the same game plan. There really isn’t much reason to spend V-Trigger defensively, because V-Reversal is so good.”

I’ll be honest, hearing this I was pretty floored. I just kept thinking to myself, “Damn that’s smart as hell.” Rather than focus on what the guy did wrong in the match, he just gave him a really simple game plan he could apply to almost anything and find success. And surely enough, right after the training session, James hopped back online and played another match. He immediately found success following Fuudo’s gameplan. I kept thinking to myself, “His advice was so simple, but so effective. This is how a champion sees the game and how people play.” Rather than focusing on individual moments, he first takes a step back and focuses on what the person’s plan is. I think this is a skill that a lot of people are missing; Being able to diagnose and breakdown a plan.

Fuudo is by all accounts a fighting game champion, and every time I have a chance to hear him speak and talk about the game, I immediately understand why. He taught an 8 year old to play online and at least have a close match with others. If you haven’t had a chance to see him speak on the BeastTV stream, see for yourself and I think you’ll easily understand why-

Fuudo is great.

V-Skill & V-Trigger Guide: Season 3 DLC

Street Fighter V introduced a very cool and custom mechanic for each fighter called the  “V-System” and while the game did have a very simple tutorial mode, it was a bit lacking in exactly what the V-trigger or V-Skill mechanics were for each character. This tutorial is made to solve that problem. Below we’ll talk very quickly, but with enough depth to get you started and experimenting with your character’s special V-Trigger and V-Skills.

Characters

Sakura

Sakura

V-Skill: Haru Kaze

Sakura’s Haru Kaze is a command hop forward with one of three follow-ups. When pressing MP + MK, if you press a Punch button afterward, she’ll do her Sakura Otoshi attack, which hits her opponent up to three times if it lands. In order to get the following hits, you have to continue to press P. This attack must be blocked standing by your opponent.

By pressing a kick button after Haru Kaze, Sakura will cancel into a dive-kicking attack. If this attack hits, you can follow-up with a combo once you land on the ground. If the opponent blocks your attack, they can punish you, unless the dive-kick attack hit them below their waist.

Finally Sakura can press LP + LK during Haru Kaze to perform a throw attack. This attack will grab any opponents who are standing. The range on this throw is surprisingly long. If you can, go into training mode to see for yourself.

V-Trigger 1: Haru Arashi

Haru Arashi allows Sakura to cancel her qcf.P fireballs and qcf.K fireballs into her V-Skill, Haru Kaze, on hit or block. This allows her additional combo opportunities and unique pressure situations. In addition Sakura gains access to a new attack by pressing HP + HK. This attack has Sakura reel back momentarily before lunging forward and releasing a ball of stationary energy. What’s important about this attack is that if your opponent blocks it, you will have slight advantage to continue attacking. It’s best to continue with a light attack to keep up your pressure afterward. Finally this V-Trigger powers up Sakura’s Critical Art’s damage.

V-Trigger 2: Sakura Senpu

V-Trigger 2 augments Sakura’s uppercut [dp.P] and hurricane kick [qcb.k] attacks. Sakura’s dp.P attacks gain full invincibility during it’s start and becomes a great damage ender. Meanwhile, her qcb.K shunpukyaku attack moves much farther forward during it’s duration and at the end, Sakura will kick the opponent in the air, allowing you to follow up with juggle combos, including but not limited to the MP + MK V-Skill. Using a dp.P or qcb.K move during this V-Trigger consumes the V-Trigger gauge. Sakura can do a maximum of 3 attacks before the V-Trigger gauge runs out.

Blanka

Blanka

V-Skill: Coward Crouch

Blanka’s V-Skill is a crouching move that allows him to duck under some attacks and fireballs by pressing MP + MK. He can also cancel this attack into two follow-ups. By pressing a punch button after coward crouch, Blanka will do an attack that lifts the opponent up in the air and can be followed up with a juggling combo.

Pressing a kick button after coward crouch will have blanka leap into the sky toward the opponent. He can then perform one air action during this hop forward.

V-Trigger 1: Jungle Dynamo

Jungle Dynamo powers up all of Blanka’s special attacks, buffing their damage and changing some properties, for example allowing Blanka to combo his rolling attack [ b[f].P ] into Vertical Rolling [ d[u].K ]. Additionally you have access to a new move, Ground Shave Roll, by pressing HP + HK. This attack performs a short hop forward before charging the ball on the ground. If you fully charge the attack, it will become unblockable and will allow Blanka to follow-up with a short combo. Blanka can perform a maximum of 3 special attacks [ground shave roll included] before the V-Trigger gauge runs out.

V-Trigger 2: Lightning Beast

V-Trigger allows Blanka to follow up his Blanka ball attacks with additional Blanka balls at nearly any direction by pressing the direction you want to move + HP + HK. This allows Blanka to create tricky cross-ups, mix-up situations and powerful combos. Using additional rolls after the first rolling attack will consume V-Trigger gauge.

Falke

Falke

V-Skill: Psycho Trombe

Falke’s Psycho Trombe is a slow-starting staff spin, which will absorb fireballs. If it hits the opponent, it will also deal damage and knock them down. Be careful about using this attack up close as your opponent can punish you if they block it in most situations.

V-Trigger 1: Staerken

V-Trigger one, gives Falke access to a medium-long range fireball while crouching, standing, or jumping. By pressing HP + HK Falke will fire a shot from the end of her staff. Holding down + HP + HK, Falke gets very low to the ground and shoots a blast at her opponents feet. This will go under most fireball attacks. Pressing HP + HK int he air has Falke hover for a moment before firing a shot downward at the opponent, unlike most other characters in the game, Falke can shoot this fireball while doing either forward, neutral, or back jump. Finally, HP + HK while standing will have Falke shoot 3 shots, one forward, one upward and one downward. This standing shot can be canceled into the crouching shot.

V-Trigger 2: Psycho Angriff

Upon activation, Falke does a spinning attack and knocks the opponent down. During the duration of the V-trigger she gains access to two additional moves, Psycho Strum and Psycho Klinge. By pressing HP + HK, Falke does Psycho Strum, swinging her staff forward. This attack has a very long range, but can be punished if the opponent blocks. By pressing down + HP + HK, Falke will do Psycho Klinge, where Falke flips into the air and then swings her staff downward. This attack must be blocked standing. It will also leave you at a disadvantageous position, but it will be difficult for the opponent to punish you. It should be noted that both Psycho Strum and Psycho Klinge can be canceled from V-Skill or any of Falke’s special attacks.

Cody

Cody

V-Skill: Double Kick

Cody’s V-Skill is an invincible rising kick attack. It is invincible to throws, attacks, and projectiles, however if the opponent blocks or the attack misses, if Cody is hit during the cooldown animation, it will be considered counter-hit. Also, keep in mind that using this attack causes Cody to take grey damage.

V-Trigger 1: Side Arm

In V-Trigger 1, Cody will brandish a knife, and all of his punch attacks will change. His normal attacks will become various knife stabs. By pressing HP + HK, Cody will throw the knife. You can throw it straight using HP + HK or throw it in the air by holding down + HP + HK. Once the knife is thrown, you can restock the knife by pressing HP + HK again. Additionally, Cody loses access to his qcf.P fireball, but does gain access to a qcb.P knife swing attack. If it hits, the attack will perform multiple knife cuts. On the other hand if the opponent blocks, Cody will be able to continue pressure. Cody can use a maximum of 4 knives or a maximum of 3 of the qcb.P knife swing attacks before the V-Trigger gauge runs out.

V-Trigger 2: Dirty Coach

Dirty Coach has Cody wield a metal pipe. During this V-Trigger Cody’s HP attacks will change and have much more range. By pressing HP + HK at the same time, Cody will do a baseball-like swing. Like Side Arm, Cody can also hold down + HP + HK to swing the pipe upward. This attacks does damage if it its an opponent but will also reflect fireballs of any strength back at the opponent. Cody also gains to two new attacks, the first, Bean Ball [qcb.P] has Cody lob a rock into the air. When it comes back down, you can press HP + HK to swing the pipe and knock the rock at the opponent. Depending on your timing, the trajectory of the rock will change. Finally, Cody gains access to Toss & Smash, a command grab attack by pressing hcb.K. During this animation, if you time the HP + HK while the opponent is right, you’ll get a special animation that does more damage.

G

G

V-Skill: G Barrier

G-Barrier is an omni-directional force-field that will nullify single hit fireballs. It will also hit opponents near G, so has some use as a move to beat other buttons during footsies. G Barrier can also be used in the air as well.

V-Trigger 1: Maximum President

V-Trigger 1, automatically sets G’s presidentiality level to maximum. During this mode, his G-Barrier will change into a large fireball after the initial force-field animation. In addition G will have the ability to cancel any of his special attacks into another attack once during a combo. This creates opportunities to do incredibly damaging combos.

V-Trigger 2: Dangerous President

Dangerous President, gives G access to two additional attacks. The first, G Explosion, [HP + HK] is a simple rising punch that can be canceled from any of his normal or special attacks [Not including f.HK]. This is great as a damage ender from any combo. By pressing down + HP + HK, G will perform a powerful command grab. Although the grab does take a while to start-up, it does have 1 hit of super armor, if the opponent tries to attack you, you’ll absorb the hit and grab them immediately.

Sagat

Sagat

V-Skill: Angry Charge

Sagat’s Angry Charge allows him to power up his next Tiger uppercut by pressing MP + MK. The animation for this attack is quite, long so be very careful of when you choose to do it.  This effect does not stack, as doing multiple Angry Charges will not make Sagat’s Tiger Uppercut stronger and stronger.

V-Trigger 1: Tiger Charge

V-Trigger 1 gives Sagat access to a powerful 5-hitting fireball. Sagat also gains the ability to cancel into this fireball from his HP attacks. The fireball also juggles so that if Sagat is close enough, he can combo into a Tiger Uppercut afterward. Sagat can use two fireballs before the V-Trigger gauge runs out.

V-Trigger 2: Tiger Assault

Tiger Assault gives Sagat two new attacks while the V-Trigger is active. The first, Tiger Rush, is a quick, forward stepping, double knee attack. Be careful as this attack can be punished in some situations if the opponent blocks. If the attack hits, and your opponent is in the corner, you can follow up with a Tiger Uppercut for more damage.

The second attack, Tiger Spike is a chargeable spin-kick move with 1 hit of super armor. Charging this attack changes it’s properties slightly. It has 3 levels. By pressing HP + HK, you’ll get the level 1 attack which is a simple spin kick. By holding HP + HK for a moment or two and then releasing, Sagat will do a spin kick, that if connected, will send the opponent into a juggle state. From this, you’ll be able to follow-up with a kara Tiger uppercut. [ f.HK[dp.HP] ] for more damage. If you hold HP + HK for the maximum time limit, you’ll get the level 3 version of Tiger Spike, which is unblockable. If it hits your opponent it will break their guard, and you can again follow-up witha  kara Tiger Uppercut.

Finally, it should be noted that you can cancel the ending of Tiger Rush into Tiger Spike. This creates great combo opportunities if the initial Tiger Rush hits. You can use a maximum of 3 Tiger Rush or Tiger Spikes before the V-Trigger gauge runs out.

 

V-Skill & V-Trigger Guide: Season 2 DLC

Street Fighter V introduced a very cool and custom mechanic for each fighter called the  “V-System” and while the game did have a very simple tutorial mode, it was a bit lacking in exactly what the V-trigger or V-Skill mechanics were for each character. This tutorial is made to solve that problem. Below we’ll talk very quickly, but with enough depth to get you started and experimenting with your character’s special V-Trigger and V-Skills.

Characters

Akuma

Akuma

V-Skill: Rakan

Akuma’s V-Skill is a defensive parry, with the caveat that you have to aim it. For high or mid level attacks, you must press MP +MK, and for low hitting attacks, you must press down + MP + MK to successfully parry. During the parry animation on hit or block, Akuma can follow-up with a punch button or a kick button. The punch button has Akuma do a palm thrust that will knock the enemy away. The kick button on the other hand will launch the enemy into the air with a high kick. You can also cancel the ending animation of this kick with a special move for more damage. Be advised that Akuma’s parry can only absorb one hit. Multi-hitting attacks will parry the first hit and then hurt Akuma.

V-Trigger 1: Dohatsu Shoten

Akuma’s V-Trigger 1 powers up his qcf.P fireball attacks and his dragon punch. On the ground his gohadouken [qcf.p] will travel the full length of the screen and will cause a two hit juggle if it hits airborne opponent. In the air his qcf.P will throw two fireballs at once, at varying angles depending on which punch button you press. In addition, Akuma’s dp.P attack will do extra hits as Akuma goes up and then slams his opponent on the ground if it hits. Finally, while V-Trigger is activated. Akuma has access to his raging demon critical art which can be activated by pressing LP, LP, forward, LK, HP in quick succession. Do note that using the Raging Demon will consume the entirety of the V-trigger gauge.

V-Trigger 2: Shiretsu Hasshi

Shiretsu Hasshi gives Akuma the ability to cancel his special attacks into their EX version using his V-Trigger instead of Critical Art Gauge. You can cancel an one of his special attacks from a normal special attack by inputting the ex attack after the first attack is hit or blocked. Akuma can cancel a total of two attacks into their EX versions without Critical Gauge cost before the V-Trigger gauge runs out.

Kolin

Kolin

V-Skill: Inside Slash

Kolin’s V-Skill is a far reaching swiping attack, that has a built in counter. While she is lunging forward, if you hit her, she will instantly parry your attack and perform a second counter attacking hit. On hit, she can combo from this at the correct range. Be careful as, you can be punished if you do this too close to your opponent and they block it. it should also be noted that this attack will not gain it’s counter properties until mid way during the slash. You can be hit out of it at the beginning, or thrown out of it completely.

V-Trigger 1: Diamond Dust

Diamond Dust gives Kolin access to a new special attack, whereby Kolin stomps on the ground and the ground in front of her until about half the screen will be frozen over. If you land this attack on your opponent, you can usually follow up with an qcf.PP for additional damage. The opponent will also turn blue as if they are frozen over. As long as they appear like this, their stun bar will not decrease. If the opponent manages to land a hit on Kolin, the stun freeze property will go away, and their stun will go down after some time. You can use this attack after normally punishable moves to make them safe as well. Kolin can use this attack twice before the V-Trigger gauge runs out.

V-Trigger 2: Absolute Zero

V-Trigger two powers up Kolins hailstorm attack by making the hailstorm attack [dp.P] she throws much much larger. She also gains a new attack, Frost Edge, by pressing HP + HK. This attack has Kolin shoot forward the entire distance of the screen at an incredible speed, stabbing her opponent with her hand. She can also do this attack by pressing HP + HK during her MK vanity step [qcb.MK]. Finally, Holding Kolin’s forward dash will have her ice skate across the screen incredibly quickly. You can cancel this skate forward into any grounded normal attack. Finally, by just tapping forward twice, Kolin will feint a skate dash forward, stopping short. While using the powered up Hailstorm doesn’t use up any V-Trigger gauge, using Frost Edge in any way will.

Ed

Ed

V-Skill: Psycho Snatcher

Ed’s V-Skill is a kind of energy rope that pulls the opponent toward him or him toward his opponent. By tapping MP + MK, Ed will toss out a line of psycho power. On hit or block, it will pull Ed toward his opponent and perform a follow-up attack. While the attack cannot be punished by most characters, it does leave Ed in a disadvantaged position. Close to your opponent and the opponent will be able to act before you. You also have the option of holding MP + MK to do a charged version of Psycho Snatcher. If this hits the opponent it will pull them toward Ed. On hit, Ed can follow-up with a juggle combo. On block it pulls the opponent close to Ed and allows him to act before the opponent can. Finally, Ed can aim his Psycho Snatcher forward, or by holding down + MP + MK, up forward above him.

V-Trigger 1: Psycho Cannon

Psycho Cannon is a powerful, single use V-Trigger that allows Ed to shot a large and slow-moving ball of psycho energy along the screen. Once an opponent has blocked it, It gives Ed the advantage to push his opponent outside of the ball’s area and go for a throw mix-up or frame trap the opponent. There are lots of ways to use this, but require some practice in training mode. You also have the option of activating Psycho cannon and countering an opponent who tries to escape it. Finally, by pressing forward + HP + HK will cause the ball to move forward faster than normal. This is useful in getting some combos to work.

V-Trigger 2: Enhanced Snatcher

V-Trigger 2’s Enhanced Snatcher gives Ed a more versatile and powerful version of his V-Skill. By pressing HP + HK, Ed can grab an an opponent like Psycho Snatcher, however if the opponent guards, he will always have advantage.  In addition, he can follow up his Psycho Upper [PP], EX Psycho Shot [f.P > PP], or Psycho Flicker attack with Enhanced Snatcher by pressing HP + HK on hit. This allows for more damaging combos, or more pressure situations for Ed to continue offense. Ed can perform Enhanced Snatcher up to 3 times before the V-Trigger gauge empties.

Abigail

Abigail

V-Skill: Hungabee

Abigail’s Hungabee V-Skill is a parry attack, like a Akuma’s, must be aimed either high or low or it will fail. To parry high and mid level attacks, use MP + MK, and to parry low attacks, use down + MP + MK. Abigail can also cancel his Nitro Charge Run [ KK ] into either of the Hungabee variations. On hit, Abigail will instantly counter attack the opponent causing them to spin backwards. he can then follow up with additional attacks for more damage.

V-Trigger 1: Max Power

Max Power allows Abigail to charge all of his HP attacks and all variations of them. by holding down the HP button and a direction, he’ll charge up one of his attacks. During this charge period, he gains a hit of super armor. If the fully charged attacks connect with the opponent, it will guard break them and Abigail can follow up with another attack to combo with. Abigail can use up to 6 charged punches before the V-Trigger timer runs out.

V-Trigger 2: Hybrid Charge

V-Trigger 2 gives Abigail access to a new move, Hybrid Charge. A huge forward moving dashing attack that goes most of the screen. By pressing HP + HK, Abigail will move forward across the screen doing a charging attack. While moving forward he has 2 hits of super armor. He also has the option to charge the attack by holding the HP + HK buttons down. During this animation, Abigail has hyper armor [infinite super armor]. The only way to stop the charging attack at this point is to throw him, or use an armor break move, which only some character’s have access to. If fully charged, the attack becomes unblockable and will break your opponent’s guard, allowing Abigail to follow up with a combo.

Menat

Menat

V-Skill: Soul Reflect

Menat’s Soul reflect comes in two forms. The first, by pressing MP + MK while Menat has control of her orb, will reflect fireball projectiles back at her opponent. While her orb is set, and she does not hold it, the attack will merely nullify fireballs. The Soul reflect attack also comes in two versions, the first is MP + MK as noted above, which will put up a shield in front of Menat while she’s standing. The second, by holding down + MP + MK Menat will crouch and do a diagonally upward angled soul reflect, this is useful for juggling opponents during combos or reflecting air fireballs, for example from Akuma.

V-Trigger 1: Wisdom of Thoth

Menat’s V-Trigger 1 is probably one of the hardest and most technical V-Triggers in the game. Upon activation, Menat summons 6 minature orbs around her. During the V-Trigger, if you hold and release a button, a corresponding orb will release and shoot forward at your opponent. From top to bottom on the left side, LP, MP, and HP will release the orbs. On the right side from top to bottom LK, MK, and HK. In addition, depending on whether Menat is standing, crouching, or jumping, the released orbs will move in a different direction. If Menat is crouching, the orbs will move at an upward angle. If she is standing, the released orbs will move straight forward, and if Menat is jumping, the orbs will travel at a downward angle. It will absolutely require you go into training mode to figure out combos and tricky mix-ups to make the most of this V-trigger and bring out it’s full potential.

V-Trigger 2: Prophecy of Thoth

While V-Trigger 1 is considered a very technical V-Trigger, V-Trigger 2 is a bit easier to use. Upon activation, Menat creates 6 orbs  around her, and by pressing qcb.P she will fire all of them at once at the opponent. The strength of the punch button you press determines the angle at which the orbs fire. By pressing light punch all of the orbs will fire straight forward. By pressing medium punch all of the orbs will fire upward. By pressing the heavy punch, all of the orbs will fire upward and then fall back down on the opponent in two waves. Menat can use the 6 orbs up to 2 times before the V-Trigger timer runs out. Once you have expended your first 6 orbs, Menat can restock them once by using HP + HK.

Zeku

Zeku

V-Skill: Tenpo Kari

Tenpo Kari is a single strike attack that allows Young Zeku to change into Old Zeku and vice-versa. Old’s Zeku’s attack is more of an anti-air, Young Zeku’s is meant to be used in combos. If you hold forward during the attack, you can switch sides, potentially getting you out of a bad situation in the corner.

V-Trigger 1: Bunshinryu Shingekiko

Zeku’s V-Trigger 1 grants him access to two new attacks. The first is Idaten, which allows Zeku to cancel from any normal attack by pressing HP+ HK. During Idaten Zeku will teleport forward and have a brief window where he can combo all of his normal attacks together in the following order LP > LK > MP > MK > HP > HK. Once Zeku reaches HK or wants to end the combo, you can press HP + HK to do the Idaten ender and Zeku’s second attack in V-Trigger, Bushin Bakujasho, which knocks the opponent down. Zeku can additional perform a single attack in Idaten and special cancel it, if the move is normally special cancellable.

V-Trigger 2: Karura Tenzan

Karura Tenzan is a simple two hit anti-air strike. Whether you’re Old Zeku or Young Zeku, by pressing HP + HK, you will shoot upward and attack the opponent. It can also be used in combos while the opponent is on the ground. By holding forward + HP + HK, Zeku will change sides after the attack. Zeku can do Karura Tenzan up to two times before the V-Trigger timer runs out. Be careful as this attack can be punished if the opponent blocks it.

 

V-Skill & V-Trigger Guide: Season 1 DLC

Street Fighter V introduced a very cool and custom mechanic for each fighter called the  “V-System” and while the game did have a very simple tutorial mode, it was a bit lacking in exactly what the V-trigger or V-Skill mechanics were for each character. This tutorial is made to solve that problem. Below we’ll talk very quickly, but with enough depth to get you started and experimenting with your character’s special V-Trigger and V-Skills.

Characters

Alex

Alex

V-Skill: Overhaul

Alex winds up his arm, which makes his next attack a “Hard Hit.” Hard hit attacks have the exact same properties as counter-hit attacks in damage and frame advantage. This effect only lasts for 1 attack. If your attack hits or is blocked, or if Alex is hit before attack, the effect goes away. If your attack whiffs, Alex retains the hard hit property. Just a note, that overhaul doesn’t reward Alex with any meter for his V-gauge.

V-Trigger 1: Rage Shift

When Alex activates V-Trigger, his V-gauge slowly starts depleting. If unused, the bar lasts for about 30 seconds. During this mode, he gains access to sledge hammer by pressing HP+HK. Sledgehammer is a chargeable wrestling-clothesline type attack. If charged fully it becomes an unblockable attack, that covers most of the ground on the screen. It can be released early for an attack (Though the attack will be blockable) as well. If you try to hit Alex during the charge for this attack, he will have 1 frame of super armor. The start-up of this attack allows Alex to also parry incoming attacks and gain back V-gauge while V-trigger is active. Alternatively, Alex can let go of the HP+HK while charging to parry moves that hit him during the charge animation. Using Sledgehammer uses up about 1/4th of Alex’s V-gauge, but he can cancel the recovery of a hit of this attack into his other special attacks.

V-Trigger 2: Rage Boost

V-Trigger 2 grants Alex access to two new special attacks. The first, Flying DDT, is a leaping grab that has Alex hop about 1/4 of the screen distance forward to catch standing opponents. Do note that this attack will completely miss on opponents who are in the air or are crouching on the ground. It can be comboed into from attacks that force the opponent to stand such as s.HK. In addition, Alex also gets a new ender to his flash chop attack [qcf.P] called Choke Sleeper. This attack will deal a bit extra damage and will keep Alex close to the opponent to go for a mix-up immediately afterward when the opponent re-stands.

Guile

Guile

V-Skill: Sonic Blade

Guile throws a projectile that stays in place right in front of him before dissipating after a while. Guile is able to cancel the recovery of this move into a Sonic Boom. When Sonic Boom and Sonic Blade come into contact, they combine into a 2-hit moving projectile. You can also opt to throw an EX Sonic Boom through the Sonic Blade, which makes it a 3 -hit projectile that travels more quickly across the screen. Guile gains a small amount of V-gauge on hit and block of Sonic Blade.

V-Trigger 1: Hard Puncher

Guile activates V-Trigger and he gains wind rings around his wrists. This will activate for about 30 seconds. During this time, Guile’s Sonic Booms will have less recovery, He also gains a new special move called “Sonic Break.” Sonic Break is basically a smaller Sonic Boom that doesn’t require charge time. Guile can Press HP+HK to throw a sonic break. Unlike normal projectiles, there is no limit to how many he can throw at once. By holding forward while doing Sonic Break, the fireball will travel faster. holding back will make it travel more slowly. Alternatively, Guile can throw a Sonic Boom, and then cancel the recovery by pressing any punch button immediately afterwards. Pressing LP throws one at the same speed as holding back and HP+HK. Pressing MP throws the same speed as neutral and HP+HK, and pressing HP throws a sonic break at the same speed as forward and HP+HK. Using the sonic break depletes a small portion of the V-gauge timer. Throwing 4 in succession depletes the timer fully. Finally, Guile’s critical art, Sonic Hurricane, during Hard Puncher, becomes Sonic Tempest. In addition it covers more for the screen and does more damage. Using Sonic Tempest will instantly deplete all of the V-gauge and will subsequently end V-trigger.

V-Trigger 2: Knife Edge

Guile’s V-Trigger 2 allows him to power up his flash kick special attack [ d[u].K ]. When he performs a flash kick he will also send a sonic boom forward from his foot. He can also combo a regular flash kick into the EX Version as well. Be careful as this attack is unsafe if used next to your opponent. Even if they block the sonic boom attack up close, they can still punish the flash kick.

Ibuki

Ibuki

V-Skill: Tenrai

By pressing MP + MK with Ibuki, she will perform a short reelback before lunching forward and releasing a small blast of energy from her hand. This blast is considered a projectile and can be beaten by projectile invincible moves. The reelback is useful as it will actively help  ibuki dodge attacks and then retaliate quickly afterward. You can also extend the reel time by holding MP + MK before striking with the energy blast, but be careful because if you’re hit while reeling back it will be considered a counter-hit.

V-Trigger 1: Rokushaku Horokudama

Ibuki’s V-Trigger 1 allows her to toss a bomb by pressing HP + HK. Each bomb has a fuse that explodes at different timings based on the direction you input when you throw the it. By not inputting any direction when you press HP + HK, you’ll get the fastest exploding bomb which you can combo from  given the right combo. If you hold forward will pressing HP + HK will release the bomb with the longest fuse and take the longest amount of time to explode; and back + HP + HK will release a bomb with a fuse somewhere in the middle, between the neutral and forward + HP + HK timing. In the event that you need to make a bomb explode even earlier than it’s normal fuse time limit, you can throw an ex kunai [qcf.PP] to have it explodes upon impact. Finally, you can move and juggle the bombs around screen by hitting them with your attacks. Keep in mind that your opponent can do the same. You can throw a maximum of two bombs before the V-Trigger ends.

V-Trigger 2: Fuma Shuriken

Fuma Shuriken allows Ibuki to toss a single large shuriken across the screen. Ibuki can aim the shuriken to have it’s trajectory go either straight forward by input HP + HK and no joystick direction, or have it shoot upward at a diagonal angle by holding back + HP + HK. Regardless of which one you throw, it will also return back toward Ibuki a few moments after it leaves the screen initially. You can use this time to set up tricky mix-ups or to create long juggle combos using the shuriken.

Balrog Boxer

Balrog [Boxer]

V-Skill: KKB

Boxer’s V-Skill has him do a quick spin forward that allows him to move through fireballs by pressing MP + MK. You can follow-up the spin attack with either a punch or kick button. If you follow up with a punch, you’ll do a horizontal spinning punch. You can use this to punish the ending animation of your opponents fireball attack. Alternatively you can press a kick button, which has Boxer do a vertical spinning punch from above that must be blocked standing. If this hits, you can follow up a combo. Be careful as both attacks can be punished if the opponent blocks them. Finally, it should be noted that you can perform KKB during Boxer’s dash straight [ b[f].P ] or his dash low [ b[f].K ] attacks, to trick your opponent into blocking and potentially going into the kick ender overhead or doing nothing and throwing them.

V-Trigger 1: Crazy Rush

Crazy Rush allows Boxer to chain together multiple punch attacks from any of his special punch moves. When a punch move is hit or blocked, you can hold forward on the joystick and press punch to get a follow-up rush punch or kick to get a follow-up dash upper. This allows you to really maximize damage if you land a single punch attack or can put your opponent in a situation where they block a few chained rush punches and then you cancel into V-Skill and do an overhead or throw. There is a lot of utility here, so really test this out to see what combos you can string together or what trick mix-ups you can find.

V-Trigger 2: No Mercy

No Mercy is a command grab V-Trigger which gives Boxer the opportunity to really scare opponents when he goes for a V-Skill mix-up. The V-Trigger doesn’t do a lot of damage, but it does a significant amount of stun. Boxer has access to two command grabs before the V-Trigger timer runs out.

Juri

Juri

V-Skill: Kasatsushu

Kasatsushu is a airborne dash that allows Juri to move through an opponent and attack them with a kick from the other side by simply tapping MP + MK. If you hold the attack, Juri will crouch and charge up the attack, eventually shooting forward at an incredibly fast speed , hitting the opponent once as she goes through them and again when she attacks from behind them. This charged attack also goes through fireballs. During the charge animation, you can backdash to cancel it completely. You can also store the charge, although there will be no visual indicator to remind you that you it stored. Do note that while charging, you’ll eventually notice a puff of smoke radiate from Juri. This is the visual cute to let you know that you have charged to faster version, and the next time you use Kasatsushu, you’ll automatically do the faster version without having to charge. Finally, during the attack animation, You can tap MP + MK again, to have Juri stop the attack short and cancel out of the dash forward.

V-Trigger 1: Feng Shui Engine Alpha

Juri’s Feng Shui Engine Alpha allows her to chain together normal attacks into a long combo. For example you can do lp > lk > mp > mk > hp > hk in succession and they will all combo. This also holds true for Juri’s air attacks as well. You can also perform the qcf.k release attacks without having to store the attack up first, although doing this will consume a large part of your V-trigger gauge. Also note that some of the properties of Juri’s attacks will change during Feng Shui Engine Alpha. For example, her qcf.LK fireball attack is two hits in this mode.

V-Trigger 2: Feng Shui Engine Beta

Feng Shui Engine Beta is a much more apssive V-Trigger than the alpha version. upon activation, Juri will sweep the opponent back toward her allowing for her to continue a longer combo. Again, please bear in mind, this only happens upon activation, when you first press HP + HK. After that, you’ll notice a ring around Juri’s body. If the opponent is in that ring, it will slowly drain their Critical Art Gauge and transfer it to Juri. Please keep in mind this effect does not work during throw attacks or if Juri is in the air.

Urien

Urien

V-Skill: Metallic Aura

By pressing MP + MK, Urien’s skin will turn a dark black. The next time he performs one of his special attacks, he will have 1 hit of super armor. Once he’s used the special attack, he’ll lose the ability and his skin will revert back to it’s original color.

V-Trigger 1: Aegis Reflector

Urien’s Aegis reflector allows him to create an energy mirror in front of him at varying distances and locations based upon the directional input you do when you press HP + HK. The energy mirror will reflect any and all energy based projectiles it touches, even critical arts. Please keep this in mind, if you’re fighting against him. Each of the mirrors has a short time limit and will be destroyed if the opponent blocks or is hit by them three times. The mirror also allows Urien to combo off of a throw, if he throws the opponent into one of them. By pressing HP + HK Urien will fire a mirror far ahead of him, that slowly moves backwards. By holding back + HP + HK, he will fire a mirror just in front of him that slowly moves forward. Finally by holding down + HP + HK, Urien will create a mirror just above his head, which can act as a shield against incoming air attacks. You can use up to 2 mirrors before the V-Trigger gauge runs out.

V-Trigger 2: Tyrant Pressure

Tyrant Pressure is a forward moving shoulder charge, You can hold HP + HK and Urien will build up power. If you get a full charge, the attack will be unblockable. During the charge time, Urien also has a single hit of super armor against most normal attacks. He can however be thrown. If the shoulder attack hits the opponent, Urien can follow up afterward with another juggle attack. Urien can use a maximum of 3 shoulder charges during the V-Trigger. It should be noted that Urien does not have super armor during the actual shoulder charge attack, only during the charge up timing in the beginning.

 

101: Juri Image

101 Series: Juri

The 101 series is meant to help new players quickly get acclimated to a character and to give them the knowledge and tools to play effectively with a character as fast as possible. This series won’t be covering the complex aspects of each character, rather we will talk about the basic points of the character and what makes them strong. It is our hope that this series serves as a jumping-off point for you to more deeply explore the character.

What is she good at?

Juri is a defensive type of hit and run character in SFV. She uses long range attacks and a myriad of tools to hit the opponent from afar, do some damage up-close and then get away as soon as possible. She has a somewhat complex tool-set with lots of intricate properties on many of her attacks that may not seem readily apparent. She has great individual buttons, but requires good resource management of not only meter but stocked attacks. If you are the kind of player who can mentally juggle these resources during a match, you’ll definitely excel at Juri’s style of play.

Footsies

Juri’s footsies at mid and long range are simple, but highly effective. She has moves that allow you to get over low attacks and just outrange most opponents outrange. Not to mention her low fireball which helps her control the floor and walking space on the level.

s.MK

A great 2-hitting attack, that has great range and goes over a large amount of the cast’s low attacks. The first hit is cancelable, and can be buffered if you throw it out in footsies and catch an opponent overextending themselves. The second hit is not cancelable but does set you up in a great place to attack with s.HK afterward.

s.HK

One of Juri’s crush counter attacks. This move hops over low moves altogether and has incredibly far range. If you manage to land a crush counter with this attacks you can dash forward and follow-up for a bigger reward than you would normally get in footsies.

c.MK

a standard low poking attack. It is cancelable, but does not actually combo from many special moves. It is recommended that you only cancel into the qcf.HK released version or dp.LP. Standard tool for any character with good footsies in a Street Fighter game.

qcf.LK [Release]

This is Juri’s low fireball which travels about half of the screen and then dissipates. This will go under normal Hadouken-like fireballs and clip the opponents feet. In V-Trigger 1, this has more range and becomes 2 hits. Note that before you can unleash this attach, you have to first stock the fireball by doing an initial qcf.LK. It also has significant recovery, so make sure there is some distance between yourself and your opponent before first using it. After it’s been fired, you can walk behind it to pressure the opponent to make a move or retreat.

Anti-Air

c.HP

Pretty good anti-air attack and will also crush counter which allows you to follow up with dp.MP or dp.PP. Be careful as it does have considerable start-up and is not recommended if your opponent is close to you before you can react.

dp.MP

Juri’s go-to anti-air attack. This is like a normal dragon punch but has enormous range. It also has upper-body invincibility, which means it will never lose to a jumping attack. In addition, you can leverage the upper-body invincibility to punish attacks the go over your head like Ryu’s grounded Tatsu.

Combos

No-Resource Combos

c.LK, c.LP xx dp.HP

Juri’s quick, low-damage, hit-confirm from a light attack. if the opponent is blocking, you can end the move with a s.LK to stay safe, but if you confirm that you hit your opponent, you can do the dp.HP to get good damage and a chance to stock an attack of level up your v-skill.

s.MP, s.MK [1 Hit] xx dp.HP

Your go to combo if you confirm a combo off of s.MP, or during a frame trap. Be sure not to let the s.MK hit two-times as the second hit is not cancelable. It might require some practice to get it down consistently. Like before, you can you the knockdown to stock an attack with qcf.LK/MK/HK or hold v-skill and backdash to level-up.

s.MP > f.HP xx  dp.MP

Good meterless and stock-less punish that grants a knockdown using the target combo from s.MP.

Resource Combos

s.MP, s.MK [1 Hit] xx qcf.MK [Release], c.MP xx qcb. MK

Here you extend the s.MP, s.MK above with a stocked qcf.MK attack and get a knockdown. Great damage and only requires one stocked move to execute. This attack also moves Juri very far across the level, which allows her to occupy ground and quickly push her opponent to the corner.

c.HP, qcf.MK [Release], c.MP xx qcf.HK [Release], dp.MP [CORNER ONLY]

Very damaging and hard htiting combo, but requires two stocks (MK & HK). Also the qcf.HK must end in the corner for you to get the follow-up dp.MP. It’s not recommended that you use dp.PP becuase the damage added is negligible compared to all of the resources that you have to spend.

Offense

Frame Traps

c.LP, s.MP, c.MP
c.LP, s.MP, s.MK

Please keep in mind that Juri is not a character meant to be played upclose. She is meant to pressure from mid-range with long buttons. For this reason, you’ll see that her tight frame-traps are scarce and the reward she reaps from them are also small. The first frame trap has a small gap between the c.LP and s.MP, if the s.MP counter-hits the opponent, will allow you to follow up with c.MP. Do be advised, that the gap between s.MP and c.MP, while small, can be interrupted by the fastest light attacks. The second frame trap is much the same. The difference here is that because the s.MK has a little bit of sway back it can sometimes cause the fastest attacks to miss and then you can hit the recovery. It is a situation that works more because of the interaction of the attacks on the screen rather than the speed of attacks. Again, from the c.MP and s.MK of either combo, you can cancel them both into qcb.MK

If opponents are adamant on blocking all of your frame traps, it might be useful to take advantage of the s.MP, take a few steps back and then when your opponent thinks it’s okay to press a button, nail them with Juri’s b.HK, which is two hits and is cancelable on both of them. Remember, that Juri does not excel at close range, and that your optimal area on the screen is about 1 to 2 character lengths away from your opponent. There you can use buttons like b.HK, s.HK, and s.MK to pressure the opponent.

*PRO-TIP*

Prioritize stocking qcf.HK as soon as possible. 
At mid-range, you can cancel c.MK into qcf.HK. This is great if you can can quickly confirm the single hit. qcf.HK knocks the opponent down for a long time which allows you to stock another qcf.HK [Or LK / MK, you’re choice, but I always recommend having HK]. If the opponent jumps, after waking up, you have time after stocking your attack to punish with a dp.MP or j.MP > j.HK target combo, or j.LP+LK throw. Always have a qcf.HK stocked!

Okizeme [Knockdown Pressure]

Juri’s knockdown pressure is not where she excel, and while she does have some set-ups, the do require some level of risk, and so for the majority of situations, you should prioritize defense when you get knockdowns. Ask yourself if you have stocked all of your moves, or if you have leveled up V-Skill  to the faster and safer version. Once you’ve confirmed your resources, then it’s recommended that you follow-up on offense.

qcf.HK [Release]

After the HK tatsu Ken can use his regular forward dash and work with a fairly straightforward mix-up as follows:

Quick Recovery:

f.dash, f.dash, s.MP, s.HP [s.HP will combo, if the s.MP was a counter-hit. From here you can combo qcb.MK

Back Recovery:

qcf.LK/MK/HK [Stock]. Not much you can get offense-so take the time to re-stock something and react. You’ll be able to react to and punish jump attacks even if you stock. dp.MP should punish the jumps.

qcb.LK/MK/HK

All three attacks, grant the same knockdown timings and unlike other options, grant you some decent follow-ups to continue pressuring the opponent:

Quick Recovery:

f.dash, s.MK,[CH], s.MK [1 Hit] xx qcb.MK. After the forward dash,t he first s.MK will hit on the second hit, but will grant you enough time to hit s.MK again. Here you can cancel the first hit of the second s.MK for another knockdown to rinse and repeat the same set-up if the opponent does not change their behavior. 

Back Recovery:

f.dash, s.HK [CH], f.dash, s.LP, s.LK xx dp.HP. Have your reactions on-point for this. After the counter-hit from s.HK, you can either dash forward and follow-up with the s.LP, and s.LK to confirm into the dp.HP or, you can take a small step forward and try to follow-up with a s.HP xx qcb.MK. Definitely practice this set-up to see which one feels more comfortable for you to perform in a real match. 

dp.MP/HP

Juri’s rising kick specials, much like the qcf.HK release, grant Juri an enormous amount of time before the opponent gets back on their feet, and so again, you should prioritize your resources before going in here.

Defense

As a defensive-oriented character, Juri has more tools than most to deal with an opponent’s offense. With meter, she has access to her EX Tensinrin [DP] to shut down offense. In addition to this, her V-Skill, allows her to move through her opponent and attack from the other side, and goes through fireball attacks. Once charged, it also gains throw invincibility and becomes incredibly fast. Once leveled up, it allows Juri to shut-down a lot of the cast’s options. Finally, she also has her V-reversal which attempts to put a great deal of distance between her and her opponent if it hits.

V-System

Juri’s V-Skill comes in two versions, Level 1 and Level 2. By holding the buttons you can charge the move up. Once you release, Juri will short forward, go past the opponent and hit them on the other side. Please keep in mind if they block, you can be punished. The level 2 is harder to punish because of the distance, but it’s still possible. During the release of the V-Skill, you can tap the buttons again, to make Juri cancel out of the V-Skill and stop short before moving past the opponent. You can use them when the opponent is expecting to block, to end early next to them and just throw. The level 2 version goes through fireballs and can be used to follow-up after some special attacks like qcf.HK, though the damage is negligible.

*PRO-TIP*
Level up V-Skill and abuse it’s speed!

If you hold Juri’s V-Skill, you notice after about 1 second a puff of smoke appears around her feet. This is an indication that the next time her V-Skill is used, it will be the leveled up version. The V-Skill is cancelable into forward or backdash, so you can save it for later. Once leveled, you can stop or deal with lots of attacks that most of the cast cannot. Below is a short list of attacks that you can shut down with charged up V-Skill.

Every Fireball [Ryu, Ken, Nash, Sakura, Rashid, Cody, Falke, Akuma, Juri, Guile, Laura, Urien, Chun-Li Dhalsim]
Orb Set [Menat]
Can V-Skill [Birdie]
Whip V-Skill [Ed]
Blanka Ball Punish on Block [Blanka]
EX Tackle > 2nd Aegis Reflector [Urien]
V-Trigger 2 Pressure [Urien]
Run Shenanigans [Abigail]

Recommended V-Trigger I Combo:
s.MP, s.MK [1 Hit] xx qcf.HK [Release] [1 Hit]  xVTx, s.MP > f.HP xx dp.MP

Juri’s V-Trigger 1, Feng-Shui Engine Alpha is incredibly deep and grants her lots of intricate properties on her moves. As for the basics, it allows her to cancel her normal buttons into the next strength button, but simply mashing the buttons. She also can use the Release version of the qcf.LK/MK/HK attacks without needing the appropriate stock [using V-gauge instead]. In addition, it allows Juri to jump cancel her s.MP > j.HP target combo. After the jump combo, you can cancel the air normals into the next strength attack like you would the ground attacks.

V-Gauge Uses:

Footsies

c.MK > s.HK xx qcf.HK
s.MK > s.HK > s.HP xx qcf.HK

From far range, you want to cancel your c.MK or s.MK into s.HK on hit and follow-up with more damage. Basically any hit you land will net you around 200 points of damage.

Confirms
c.LP, s.LP, s.LK > s.MK > s.HK xx qcf.HK

Your simple confirms, can be confirmed into strong button cancels. Be careful as this will take a significant amount of V-gauge to perform.

Punishes
s.HP xx qcf.MK, s.MK xx dp.HP

You can certainly make longer and higher damaging combos in V-Trigger, however, the damage they add for the V-gauge they require is not optimal, and so this combo is recommended for general use.

 

East’s Corner 03: Commentators, The Story-Tellers

About a year and a half ago, for work, I needed to learn about golf. Granted, back then, and even now I didn’t give a damn about the sport of golf, or it’s players, but for the sake of becoming better at my job, I needed to learn about the pro tour, the different championships, and the players in it. So to get up to speed I would watch commentary clips of the different games and the highlights. In a matter of a months I was caught up to speed and for work, whenever I needed to talk about golf, I could probably fool you into thinking that I had been an avid fan for years. I’ll be honest, learning about the pros playing the game actually became pretty interesting.

So what the hell does this have to do with fighting games at all? Well as of late, the topic of conversation with my fighting game friends has been, “Who are the best commentators” in the FGC. It’s actually been a pretty heated discussion, mainly because we’ve had a hard time nailing down exactly what makes a good commentator. A lot of the favorites names have been thrown out, “Tasty Steve, Sajam, James Chen, Yipes, Ultradavid etc.” and frankly when I think about it, I think they all do something pretty well, but as far as having all-round best commentary, I’m having a hard time being convinced.

I think a commentator’s job is to make whatever you’re watching more interesting. Now that sounds simple, but there’s actually a lot of moving parts here. It’s only now that I appreciate my time spent trying to learn about golf, because I know what it feels like to be hear commentary for something I don’t really know or care about. I feel doing that really gave me a deeper understanding of the whole topic. When I watched and learned about golf, I felt the best commentators were the ones, who would bring you in and make you want to learn more about the scene itself. They were entertainers, but you could tell they were passionate about their sport. They were able to decipher why players would make certain decisions, and do it in a way without explaining exactly what you were seeing [Pokemon VGC commentators are notorious for this].

Taking that past experience into account, I think the person who really embodies this in the fighting game scene is MajinObama [@2djazz on twitter]. Whenever he commentates Guilty Gear, I can see that he loves the game, is knowledgeable about it, and knows the lore and stories behind what’s going on in the match. He can tell you stories, about the players, rivalries you may have never heard of, while also keeping current focus on the game at hand. He’s got the gift of gab, which may or may not get him in trouble from time to time, but he’s who I would say is the current best commentator. He’s the kind of guy who can take a person who doesn’t really care about Guilty Gear, and pull you in. He makes people want to become a part of the scene, to learn the game, and to learn about the players. I feel like that is the true mission of a great commentator; To take the uninitiated and initiate them. Everyone is always talking about growing the scene and honestly I think commentators carry the biggest burden when it comes to this.

Who do you think is the best commentator? What do you think makes a good commentator? Let me know on twitter or in the comments below.  

East’s Corner 02: Dragonball & Under-Night

So it’s been about two weeks now since Dragonball FighterZ came out and let me tell you, between that, Monster Hunter, SFV, etc. I’m struggling to find time for real life. I was hyped about Dragonball’s release after actually getting my hands on it, but at this point I think I can objectively look at it without the Rose-tinted glasses. Gameplay is fun and it’s been set up in a way that no matter how strong or good you are at fighting games, every character makes you feel powerful. That’s great for people coming into the scene and getting interested in fighting games in general I think. It seems that the player always has a plethora of options like vanish, super dashing, tagging, etc. I can admit though I’m still feeling a little overwhelmed and as a result I still don’t feel confident in the neutral game. My brain is still trying to find the pros and cons of different options and when is the “right” time to do something with the least amount of risk involved.

That being said, I’ve spent most of my time in training mode and in arcade mode just practicing different scenarios, instead of fighting against other people. Perhaps the biggest reason for this is also currently my biggest gripe with the game:

The matchmaking system feels like it was pulled straight outta Yajirobe’s jock-strap.

In Tokyo, where at least the first 10 rooms are always full, I get about 1 ranked math every 30 minutes. This in addition to the Vegas dice-roll that is trying to set up a room with friends, are really my two big turn-offs. Because of that, I’ll be honest, my excitement for the game has gone down quite a bit. If this gets patched for the better, I think I would genuinely enjoy this game. Here’s to hoping my and other player’s pleas are heard.

If you can believe it, there is actually a silver-lining to Dragonball’s matchmaking being a Buu-sized turd. I’ve been playing less Dragonball and started to learn Under-Night In-Birth. To give you a little insight to my fighting game upcoming, when I was in high school, I dabbled in a ton of un-popular anime games: I had a friend who was super into-them, and so I just learned them while I was over at their place [See me in Vanguard Princess]. That friend is actually visiting in Tokyo this week and staying at my place so we’ve been playing the game together and it is a ton of fun. I picked up Byakuya, the spider-themed character with feet 3-times too small for his body and have really been enjoying him. For me, someone who has grown up loving 1-on-1 fighting games, this is right up my alley. In addition, the tutorial for the game is at least 3 times better than any other tutorial you will find in any fighting game out currently or has ever been made. I’m really excited to find the local scene here in Tokyo and put my character’s size 4’s in someone’s ass.

I guess if there was a theme for this post it would have to be this: If you are playing a game and it’s not fun, try something else. You might end up having the time of your life with it.

Quick notes before I get outta here:

I’ve been learning Ken just for fun in SFV Season 3. If you’re interested in the character at all, check out my quick guide to using him here

I just saw the patch notes for Guilty Gear Xrd Rev2 update coming. Someone please tell ArcSys to undelete Ky.

101: Ken Image

101 Series: Ken

The 101 series is meant to help new players quickly get acclimated to a character and to give them the knowledge and tools to play effectively with a character as fast as possible. This series won’t be covering the complex aspects of each character, rather we will talk about the basic points of the character and what makes them strong. It is our hope that this series serves as a jumping-off point for you to more deeply explore the character.

What is he good at?

Ken is one of the basic, well-rounded archetype characters in SFV. While Ryu is geared a bit more toward the defensive side, Ken is the opposite, skewed toward pressure and mixing the opponent up. He’s got every tool someone needs to be an effective character; a fireball for play away, an uppercut to interrupt offense and a a myriad of other moves to keep him in your opponents face. While his length of his attacks isn’t stellar, if one of them lands the reward is heavily skewed in his favor. If you want to be a jack of all trades, but favor offense a bit more, Ken is the character for you.

Footsies

Ken’s footsies and attacks at mid-range aren’t great, but his heavy attacks have massive reward if they crush counter an opponent. Though slow and punishable, you’ll want to pepper them into your arsenal to reap the rewards from time to time.

s.MP

One of Ken’s faster and farther reaching attacks that is completely cancellable. While doing c.MK xx qcf.HP can be interrupted, Ken’s s.MP xx qcf.HP cannot, making it safer to use. Be careful as you must be standing to use this move and most characters often low hitting attacks at mid-range. There’s a good chance your legs could get hit. This also has some interesting uses with Ken’s V-Skill.

s.HK

One of Ken’s big reward moves. Albeit slow to start and slow to finish, if Ken crush counter’s an opponent with this move, he can use his V-Skill attack or V-Skill run and follow up with a Shoryuken. Again, because of the time it takes to recover and the time for this move to start-up, it’s recommended you overuse this move, but rather carefully pick your spots.

 

qcf.HP

As a basic “shoto” character Ken comes equipped with three things: A dragon punch, a hurricane kick, and a FIREBALL. While Ken’s isn’t as good as Ryu’s, he still has the option to use Hadouken’s when far away from his opponent. When the opponent cannot reach you is probably the best time to use this as the move is slow to recover, and if the opponent jumps in one time, you’re gonna be in for a world of hurt.

Anti-Air

c.HP

Good Anti-air and has the ability to crush counter opponents, although very unlikely. Works well if the opponent jumps and will land right in front of Ken or they are jumping over Ken. The forward range of this attack is pretty limited, so best not used if the opponent jumps from far away.

dp.MP

Ken’s tried and true, signature move, the Shoryuken. Has upper body invincibility and will not lose to air attacks. If you need to hit someone jumping in and can input the dragon punch motion fast enough, this should be your go to move, without exception.

dp.HP

While c.HP and dp.MP are good if the opponent is close to Ken, there are some cases where the character will jump and attack from far away. In such circumstances, the heavy version of Shoryuken is the way to go. It’s got some good invincibility but most importantly the forward range on this move is massive.

Combos

c.LK, c.LP, s.LK xx dp.HP

Ken’s quick, low damage, hit-confirm from a light attack. If the opponent is blocking, you can end the move at s.LK to stay safe, but if you’ve confirmed that you hit them, cash out with the heavy shoryuken for good damage.

c.MP, s.LK xx dp.HP

Always good to keep this in mind if during pressure you connect a c.MP. The s.LK will connect if you’re close.

c.MP, b.MP > s.HP xx qcb.HK

Great combo in terms of damage, stun output and moves the opponent toward the corner really really far, and leaves you the opportunity to mix up the opponent. Be careful if the c.MP is a counter hit as it will sometimes mess up the combo and your b.MP may not connect at all.

f.HK, qcb.LK, dp.PP

Ken’s overhead step combo. do the EX Shoryuken as quickly as possible, as the timing can be a little tight. This takes nearly a third of an opponents life from a single overhead, so always keep this in your back pocket, if the opponent keeps crouch blocking. If your opponent is in the corner when you land the f.HK, you can use dp.HP to save resources, but note that it will do less damage than using the EX meter.

Offense

Frame Traps

c.MP, b.MP
c.MP, s.LP, s.MP
c.LP xx s.LP, s.HP

Ken’s medium punches are all great tools to pressure your opponent with. His first frame trap, c.MP, b.MP is a fairly tight frame trap which will catch any non-invincible attacks that opponents try to sneak in between your attacks. This does require a fair bit of concentration as you have to check whether the b.MP hit. If it hits, you can cancel into his target combo with HP afterward and follow up with a shoryuken [dp.HP] or tatsu [qcb.HK]. Be careful as if you accidentally perform the b.MP > HP target combo when the opponent is blocking, you can be hit afterward. You can make the string safe if you have some EX meter, by cancelling into EX fireball as a last resort.

c.MP, s.LP, s.MP is for opponents who try to attack back once there is some distance between Ken and themselves. On hit, you can follow up with MK version of tatsu [qcb.MK]. If you have really practiced it and can confirm the hit, I recommend learning to follow up with HK tatsu [qcb.HK]. Regardless of your skill level, You always have the option of doing EX tatsu [qcb.KK]; this does great damage and moves the opponent relatively far to the corner. If the opponent blocks the whole string, the final s.MP will miss.

Remember when I said you should pepper Ken’s high reward moves into your gameplay? The last frame trap is a great example of that. When doing c.LP xx s.LP, s.HP, if you do this move directly you can be interrupted before the s.HP, however if you hold back when you do s.LP and move back just a smidgen after the opponent blocks the attack before doing s.HP most quick attacks your opponent can do will whiff and miss you completely, and the s.HP will smack them.

*PRO-TIP*

Buffering
For the frame trap above, if the opponent blocks the first two hits, the last hit won’t actually connect. It will miss completely. Because of this unique situation you can immediately press V-Skill afterward and if the opponent presses a button and gets hit by s.HP, Ken will immediately run forward. You can hold the V-Skill and actually combo into the V-Skill kick if done correctly. If the opponent blocks and the s.HP misses, the V-Skill run will not come out. This is an advanced technique known as an empty buffer. Talk about the best of both worlds!

If you’ve done it correctly, you can do s.HP xx V-Skill, qcb.LK, dp.HP

Okizeme [Knockdown Pressure]

Ken’s Knockdown pressure can be a bit tricky. He basically gets a great reward if he guess right and hits the opponent but if he guesses wrong or the opponent blocks, he has a hard time safely continuing pressure. Because he has a run [V-Skill] and a normal forward dash the set-ups for attacks can be a bit complicated. We’ve tried to simply as best we could using the flowchart’s below.

qcb.HK

After the HK tatsu Ken can use his regular forward dash and work with a fairly straightforward mix-up as follows:

Quick Recovery:

f.dash, c.MP or Throw [c.MP follows up into s.MP xx qcb.MK, dp.PP]

Back Recovery:

f.dash, s.HP [s.HP will be a crush counter if it counter hits, and you can follow up with V-Skill, qcb.LK, dp.HP]

dp.HP

After Shoryuken, Ken’s options are a bit trickier to remember. You can either follow up with:

Quick Recovery:

V-Skill [MP+MK], c.MP or Throw [Like before, you can follow up c.M pwith s.Mp xx qcb.MK, dp.PP]

Back Recovery:

V-Skill [MP + MK], s.HP [Like before will be crush counter if it counter hits and you can follow up.]

Defense

As one of the more well-rounded characters Ken gets decent defense options for SFV. With meter he has access to his EX shoryuken which will pretty much blow through anything without fail. In addition to this, his V-Skill is fairly straight forward and leaves him with a bit of breathing room afterward.

V-System

Ken’s V-Skill is pretty useful as it allows him to close the gap between he and his opponent fairly quickly in order to continue offense or to continue combos. By continuing to hold the V-skill buttons down he can cancel the end of the run into a kick as a combo extender as well. The regular run is great to use if the opponent is hesitant to press buttons and attack at mid-range. It’s your chance to sneak in a throw here. Ken’s normal attacks can all be canceled into a run, with the safest attack into run being s.MP. Be careful as you can still be hit during this time. It’s best to use these kinds of tactics when the opponent is being overly defensive.

Recommended V-Skill Combos
s.HP xx V.Skill, qcb.LK, dp.HP
s.HP [Counter] xx V.Skill, b.MP > HP xx qcb.HK

Ken’s V-Trigger’s and their uses are easy to understand. You should ask yourself the following question when choosing V-Trigger: “Is my opponent Rashid or Guile?” If the the answer is yes, pick V-Trigger II, else V-Trigger I.

V-Trigger I is a basic power up on all of Ken’s kick attacks, adds new properties to his special attacks and allows him one combo extender from many of his moves upon activation when he automatically runs forward. The difficult part here is that it takes longer to fill than V-Trigger II. You may have to give up the option to use V-Reversal to use V-Trigger I in a match.

Recommended V-Trigger I Combo:
s.HP xx V-Trigger, s.HP xx V-Skill, qcb.LK,  dp.HP

V-Trigger II isn’t very impressive if you’re using it for the damage. At best it adds about 50 damage to his regular combos which all things considered is bad resource management. That being said, it is a great way to interrupt characters with relatively tricky or safe fireballs. In Rashid’s case, if Ken has V-Trigger II, and Rashid tries to do an attack canceled into his fireball, the Ken player just needs to mash HP+HK and it will eat through the attack and deal a good bit of damage. It also has a unique vacuum effect which pulls in enemies who are just outside of Ken’s range. Unfortunately using this does not grant Ken much knockdown pressure. While you can mash buttons to extend it and do more damage, it’s recommended you don’t, and instead conserve the remaining V-gauge to shut down your opponents options.

Goku Image

East’s Corner 01: Become FGC Super Saiyan

So I actually don’t really play too many games, but last weekend was the absolute triple threat. For those of you who don’t know me, I live in Tokyo, and if you follow the fighting game scene at all, then you knew that last weekend was the first EVO Japan tournament. Sort of like the sister tournament of EVO world that’s held in Las Vegas every year in late summer. In addition to that, Monster Hunter World was released. I’ve been a big fan of “hunting dragons wit ya boys” since the days of the Monster Hunter 3 on the DS. And the perfect combination to absolutely ruin my sleeping schedule was the release of the new Dragon Ball Fighters Z game. Although it’s not out here in Japan yet, I still got that handy American bank account that lets me buy from both regions, so I picked it up as soon as I could.

EVO was good. I was initially pretty down about the fact that I couldn’t enter because of work I had to do this week. I’ve acknowledged that I haven’t been doing much in the FGC as of late and I really want to get back into the swing of things in a big way, so I want to start going to more events and overall just interacting with the Tokyo scene more. Anywho, I did go there to support my friends, so Friday night after working, I headed over to the EVO venue and it was a bit smaller than I thought. Still the air was thick with competition and that familiar fighting game funk. It was great to see so many games in one place, like at an American tournament, but the crowds were too much. The venue was actually too small to move easily. My buddy, a Birdie player managed to get to Loser’s Finals of his pool, but unfortunately that’s where his journey ended there. Saturday, I went for all of about 1 hour, to cheer on a friend in Tekken. He also got to loser’s finals in his pool, but that’s because 3 out of the 8 people in the pool showed up. After that we hung out, had steak and then I headed back home.

I then cracked out to Monster Hunter World for somewhere in the ballpark of 10 hours (not straight). If you trying to “hunt dragons wit ya boys” please let me know. That game is wonderful with friends. I passed out around 5:30AM on Sunday morning.

I then woke up around the crack of noon and turned on EVO finals [Finals day tickets sold out in 5 minutes. RIIIIIIIIPPPPP]. I had that going in the background and was playing DBFZ. I was really impressed at this new fighter. I typically don’t like team-based fighting games, but that game is soooooo good. It’s deceptively simple. The mechanics are fairly straight forward, but once you start figuring stuff out like you get a jump cancel after c.M > s.M you can start putting together and diving deeper into the mechanics of the game. I played for the entire day watching the EVO Japan finals and beyond. I’ve been running Goku Black/Kid Buu/Vegeta. All of whom I picked because they each had a pink costume, but they all seem to be fairly good and have great assists. I really can’t praise it highly enough. If you’re on the fence, please let me recommendation persuade you. I’m having the time of my life with it and I’m a turbo-scrub at it.

Fighting games are great and I want to do more with them this year.

Last minute shout outs:

Shout outs to majinObama for his Guilty Gear Commentary at EVO. Definitely one of the hardest working dudes this year [And it’s only January], and if I can be half of what he is in the FGC, I would be satisfied.

Shout outs to my buddy David who volunteered at EVO Japan and became the English/Japanese workhorse. If you’re ever in Tokyo and you’re looking for a place to play fighting games, he also has a website www.fugutabetai.com that lists all of the places and events you can play. He did a ton of updating for EVO Japan so please check it out and spread the word!