Home > Strategy > Street Fighter Footsies Handbook, Chapter 2

Street Fighter Footsies Handbook, Chapter 2

December 12th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

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.

Evo2k8 SF3:3S Finals: Ohnuki (Chun Li) vs Mike Watson (Ken)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.

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  1. onreload
    December 13th, 2009 at 10:58 | #1

    Really good idea having matches queued up to the points you’re talking about – and on the flipside, I would have never noticed that Boxer vs. Ryu whiff cr.lk to throw without your explanation. Looking at it that way, it’s a genius play.

    Wherefore, then, do you say it’s good for mirrors? Won’t the mirror player know what your character’s normals look like then?

  2. polarity
    December 13th, 2009 at 11:17 | #2

    Great stuff again Maj. Don’t know if it’s on the agenda but I’d like to see more about about figuring out what your opponent is looking for and abusing that to get away with stuff you wouldn’t normally, e.g. landing random jumpins/walk up throws if you know your opponent is concentrating on looking for a whiffed poke.

  3. December 13th, 2009 at 15:41 | #3

    onreload: If you’re using Ryu’s c.LK as a fake for his c.MK, then most players won’t have the reaction time to distinguish between the two, especially during tense moments. Part of the trick is finding two moves which look alike. The reason it comes up often during mirror matches is that both players have the same ranges on their pokes, so you tend to spend a lot of time just outside that range. If you were to try it against Vega for example, you’d have a much harder time punishing his c.MP counterpoke because usually you’d be forced to block it.

    polarity: Yup, jumping is definitely a part of footsies but it’s kind of a more advanced gamble because it involves a lot of “psychic” prediction. If you don’t set up your jump properly, you’ll get anti-aired and crossed up every time. I’ll definitely get to it though, once we’ve established some more ground game elements.

  4. Kareeeeem
    December 17th, 2009 at 05:58 | #4

    Keep ’em coming, this stuff is great!

  5. maximuspita
    December 17th, 2009 at 17:46 | #5

    Thank you for these and all of the strategy posts!

  6. liluoke
    December 18th, 2009 at 22:15 | #6

    again, thank you for the guide. this helps alot. while the videos aren’t of sf4, they’re great!

    in the sagat vs balrog video i wasn’t sure exactly what to look for though, maybe it would help to put an exact time in the video to look at?

  7. December 19th, 2009 at 15:16 | #7

    Thank you sirs, i’m glad you’re finding them useful. If any questions come up, please don’t hesitate to ask.

    The times are included in each URL, so it should automatically seek to the relevant time code. At 1:29, Sagat walks forward and whiffs c.LK right in front of Balrog, who tries to hit it with c.MP which whiffs by like a pixel. Then Sagat punishes it with s.LK xx low Tiger. This might seem like a minor thing because it doesn’t cause much damage, but it gets Sagat out of the corner against a meter-ready Balrog. That’s a huge deal in this matchup.

  8. December 20th, 2009 at 15:55 | #8

    Dogface sent me a link to a super oldschool SSF2 tournament match between Watson and Jesse Howard, recorded ages before traveling for tournaments became common. Anyway it has a great of example of whiffing a low short to bait someone’s low roundhouse, right at the 5-second mark at the beginning of the video. I added it to the article too; under Element 05 though.

  9. June 27th, 2014 at 01:41 | #9

    I reuploaded the GMC SSF2T matchvid between Tsuji and Shooting D because the original copy went down:

    The new mirror is hosted on the ComboVid Archives channel:

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