Street Fighter Footsies Handbook, Chapter 2
It takes a long time to look through enough footage to find clear examples of these concepts, but i’ll try to continue this series on a weekly schedule as long as i’m able. Hopefully you got a chance to practice some of the lessons covered in last week’s installment and found a place for them in your gameplan. Here are a few more pieces.
Element 04: When your opponent is looking to punish your standard pokes, try whiffing a crouching light kick a few pixels outside their sweep range. If they mistake it for a slower attack, they’ll leave themselves open when their counterattack misses. Be ready to punish the whiff or simply walk up and throw them during their recovery period. This tactic works best during mirror matches and against opponents who can hit your medium pokes on reaction.
Element 05: If your opponent starts overusing the feint explained above, take a quick step forward and attack with your strongest combo in sync with their rhythm. Light attacks may be fast, but they’re certainly not immune to mindgames. Mike Watson is known for making excellent use of such fakes, but Ohnuki’s 3S Chun Li found a way to make him pay.
Element 06: Always be on the lookout for changes in your opponent’s behavior, especially when they gain access to super meter. When people start edging back and forth at mid-range, that’s a sign they’re fishing for something to nail with a super. Remember what Daigo’s SF4 Ryu did to Poongko at Capcom’s International Exhibition? Stick to quick normal moves in that situation. Don’t test their reactions with slow special moves. Or better yet, lock them into block stun then bait the super from a deceptively safe distance.
By now you should be starting to see what veteran players mean when they say everything has a counter. Footsies is more than technical knowledge. It all hinges on constant analysis of your opponent to determine which tactic to apply at any given moment. Look for patterns!
Rule #1: Never get predictable. If you can’t read your opponent’s intentions for whatever reason, or if you simply lose track of your opponent’s train of thought, do not under any circumstances fall back to your default gameplan. Play it safe or do something random, something your opponent has never seen you do before. Otherwise you’ll find yourself walking (or flying) home with a bewildered look on your face, trying to remember what exactly it was you got hit by.