What Are Meaty Attacks?
When any attack connects, it puts the opponent into hit stun for a certain number of frames. Whether or not you can combo after that attack depends on how much sooner your character recovers compared to the opponent. Some attacks have a lot of frame advantage built in, such as Ryu’s c.MP. In most games that punch animation ends four or five frames before the opponent’s hit stun finishes, so linking c.MK for a two-hit combo is simple.
On the other hand, Ryu’s c.HP usually has significant frame disadvantage. Even though it causes more hit stun (due to being a fierce) than c.MP does, it also has way more recovery time. However, Ryu’s c.HP is active for an extremely long period of time – from the beginning of the attack until just before he starts pulling his fist down. When his fist connects on the first active frame, the remaining active frames essentially become recovery frames.
If you can find a way to get that c.HP to connect later than its first active frame, it would give you (roughly) the same amount of hit stun but with less recovery time. This is what’s known as performing a “meaty” attack. It has nothing to do with distance. It’s all about timing. The more initial active frames you can avoid, the meatier the attack becomes. When you make it connect on its last active frame, you’ve found the meatiest possible timing.
The most basic meaty setup is knocking down an opponent and attacking as they rise. Since they’re fully invincible during wakeup, you can start your attack early and bypass a bunch of active frames while the opponent tries to stand up. In fact, SFA2 Ryu can link c.HK after a meaty c.HP using this method.
Creating additional frame advantage has many benefits, even outside of combos. You can use it to limit your opponent’s options as you move in for a throw/c.LK mixup or other mindgames. Furthermore, meaty attacks can only be countered by a perfectly timed reversal. Since the attack overlaps the end of the opponent’s invincibility peroid and the beginning of their vulnerable period, his only options are to block or perform a reversal. If he fails to execute a reversal, he gets hit by a scary combo starter.
If you’ve watched enough combo videos, you’ve probably seen a whole slew of unorthodox meaty setups. Next week i’ll go into detail about some of the more inventive ones. Here’s a little challenge for you guys in preparation for that:
Post a meaty setup that hasn’t been mentioned already in this post or in comments before yours. The important thing is the uniqueness of the setup, so the specific moves you list don’t matter.