SF4 Biweekly TACV 12: Vega / Sakura
Vega has all the requisite combo limitations of a non-fireball character. He’s got a few stylish juggle sequences, but not much else. Sakura has one of the worst fireballs in the game, but it still adds variety to her combo openings and allows her to land lvl2 Focus Attacks. Otherwise her LK Shunpukyaku loops would dominate her combo options even more.
0:11 Vega’s Rolling Izuna Drop super is a true throw, so crumple stun is obviously the only way to combo it. Vega must stand close to the corner to minimize his Flying Barcelona Special’s startup time after Viper’s s.LK trades with his lvl3 Focus Attack. Otherwise she’ll drop out of reach before he can get there. Vega actually manages to get behind her here, initiating the grab going left to right. HK Flying Barcelona Special and HP Rolling Izuna Drop versions were used, but i don’t think it makes any difference.
0:20 The rising hit of Vega’s EX Flying Barcelona Attack creates a one-time free juggle state. Trading with Chun Li’s backward j.LP gives him plenty of time to recover and follow up with the last active frame of EX Scarlet Terror, putting her in standard knockdown state. Then Vega has just barely enough time to connect EX Sky High Claw off the opposite wall midscreen, due to its juggle potential of one.
0:27 The trick to this combo is starting out with ample space between the two characters. After Vega’s lvl3 Focus Attack trades with Cammy’s s.LK, the next lvl3 Focus Attack brings the edge of the screen closer to Vega’s back than it would’ve with Vega and Cammy standing right next to each other. This minimizes the startup time of Vega’s Bloody High Claw ultra. Of course i also tried going off the opposite wall behind Cammy, but that idea wasn’t even close to working; at least not midscreen.
0:36 This appears to be the closest Vega can get to dizzying Seth. With damage as the primary goal, performing this combo after removing Vega’s mask grants him a 10% damage bonus. Oddly enough, j.HP, s.MP xx MP Rolling Crystal Flash yields higher damage and stun than j.HP, s.HP (one hit) xx HP Rolling Crystal Flash. Executing c.MP xx HK Scarlet Terror directly after FADC requires nearly one-frame charge precision, but happens to be the most damaging option at that point. This combo deals 509 damage with Vega’s mask on, 559 damage without the mask, and 733 stun regardless.
0:45 Vega can juggle his neutral Flying Barcelona Special after HK Scarlet Terror against a number of characters, but it depends on ending up close enough to the corner to reduce the super’s startup time. Linking three c.LP’s before the HK Scarlet Terror reduced the viable candidate pool to Gouken, Balrog, Rufus, and Dhalsim. I chose Gouken because the others are already well-known juggle dummies. This combo inflicts 374 damage and 530 stun.
0:54 Interrupting the final stab of Vega’s HP Rolling Crystal Flash with a standard projectile barely provides enough frame advantage to link c.MP, and from too far away to follow up with anything other than LP Rolling Crystal Flash. At that range it’s also impossible to land any additional hits before the LP Rolling Crystal Flash. The wall-bound hit of EX Flying Barcelona Attack creates a free state, the single-hit neutral followup puts Rose in standard knockdown state, and EX Scarlet Terror connects once since it has a juggle potential of one. This combo totals 475 damage and 646 stun.
1:08 Sakura’s EX Shunpukyaku finisher beats Dhalsim’s backward j.MK and creates a free juggle state. HK Airborne Shunpukyaku puts him in standard knockdown state. EX Hadoken has a juggle potential of one. Each spin of HK Shunpukyaku has progressive juggle potentials of zero, one, and two. The last spin connects, but acts as non-knockdown attack which allows Dhalsim to land on his feet and block the remaining EX Hadoken hit.
1:15 Sakura’s LK Shunpukyaku crosses up Akuma’s idle crouching hitbox, then crosses him up again as he’s rising from crouching crumple stun caused by her lvl2 Focus Attack. She can’t rebuild meter fast enough to gain access to that fifth bar before her MP Shouoken raises the juggle count to two. At that point she can’t use it for anything.
1:33 El Fuerte’s hitbox enables the highest number of consecutive s.MK xx LK Shunpukyaku loops. Each repetition pushes Sakura a little bit farther away, but she can keep going as long as she stays within close s.MK range. Canceling close s.MK moves Sakura forward significantly, whereas the rest of her normals prove no such benefit. Sakura actually walks backward between each s.LP and c.HP in order to establish proper spacing for HP Hadoken xx lvl2 Focus Attack. Of course she does walk forward during the final stretch, wherever the frame data allows it. That LP+LK throw was thrown in just for style. It’s pretty much the slowest move she can whiff at that interval. The counterhit meaty HP Hadoken (max charge), lvl2 Focus Attack setup at the beginning was the very last component added to the combo. El Fuerte cancels his Personal Action 07 into s.HP to create the counterhit opportunity. It’s a rather versatile setup because it’s easy to control the timing on that. This combo causes 594 damage and 851 stun.
2:04 Sakura’s close s.MP normally provides +3 frame advantage and her c.HP connects on the 4th frame. However, crossup j.HP creates a meaty setup for s.MP against crouching Akuma. Its frame advantage is raised to +4 as it connects on its second active frame. EX Shunpukyaku launches Akuma into a free juggle state, the first hit of EX Shouoken puts Akuma in standard knockdown, and the next two hits raise the juggle count to two. Proper corner spacing causes the second uppercut of her EX Shouoken to connect as late as possible, allowing her to recover in time to connect one last HP Shouoken hit, which has a juggle potential of three.
2:17 In the corner, Sakura can combo j.HK directly after counterhit fully charged HP Hadoken simply by throwing it from max range. The problem is, she can’t move back fast enough after recovering from HK Shunpukyaku to set up another meaty max range fully charged Hadoken, which is necessary to combo another jump attack. This whole midscreen setup is geared toward positioning Sakura exactly at that spot, so she doesn’t have to waste time walking backward after HK Shunpukyaku. It turns out that j.HK is not only necessary for achieving fatal damage, but also for rebuilding enough super meter for that crucial final FADC. The rest was straightforward optimization. This combo registers 766 damage in Training Mode with all three HK Shunpukyaku hits connecting, or 760 damage with the last hit whiffing due to KO.
This is a tool-assisted combo video recorded with two ASCII PAD V Pro programmable controllers. Absolutely no cheats, hacks, or game-altering devices were used in the making of.