Thursday 5 December 2013

Fei Long VS. Dictator

It's the most interesting match for me because Dictator does what I want to do.

From round start I think it's Dictator's match. There's nothing Fei can really do to gain the life lead early on with no bar. He'd have to whiff punish st.MK which is totally doable but anyone that knows the craic is not going to throw that out or whiff it, and probably opt for safe cr.MP instead. The range at which Fei wants to be usually in most matchups is now a risk. If he's at that 1 1/2 - 2 character length range where he can poke with Rekka, cr.HP and FA, Dictator just blows that up with Scissors. The main reason is that Fei has to walk closer than normal because of Dictator's crouching hurtbox. Because of this, he can't poke safely with Rekka (always punishable at this range), cr.HP is just too slow to be using at this range, cr.MK goes under SK and is punished and FA takes all the Scissor, getting counter-hit.

The solution would be - FA at max st.MK range, but this doesn't work because FA nine times out of ten will whiff. Fei can Focus dash forward, but he's not at frame advantage after focusing the st.MK.

The only way for him to gain the life lead here is to take a risk on a jump-in to get some frame advantage to work with, or Lv1 FA pokes at the correct range and backdash. Both of these carry some element of risk. One way of punishing ill-timed SKs or cr.HKs is with a pre-emptive neutral jump, but this has to be at the right range otherwise it's a free st.HK or j.MP > MP > Ultra. And again, anyone who knows the craic is not going to entertain this.

On the other hand, Dictator has to recognise the correct range to SK and know when it will hit twice every single time. If he doesn't, it's a crumple into a full combo and corner position. When you put it like that, it's in Fei's interests to take those risks but really it isn't because as long as Dictator gets the life lead early from something as little as a st.MK, Dictator doesn't have to take any risks. However, if Fei does get the initial life lead and never jumps, it becomes very difficult for Dictator to get back into the match, to the point where all of Dictator's ways of opening up Fei are unsafe. Fei Long eats up players/characters that want to try rushing him down to avoid the corner, so approaching Fei recklessly is never worth the risk for Dictator. Entering the one character length range risks a cr.LP xx Rekka, and will lead to Fei Long having corner control.

On Dictator's wakeup, there's only really safe-jumps that are worth going for. Option Selecting his reversals is a guessing game in itself, so it's better to just react and punish. There are a couple of Option Selects that cover more options than others, but the risk is not worth it. On the other hand, Dictator Option Selecting Fei's wakeup is always worth it. Dictator can safely OS his safe jumps to beat EX CW, backdash and stay safe from Flame Kick when timed correctly. In this sense, Dictator has an advantage, as well as guaranteed chip and ground control post-safe jump.

I think in the corner both characters have the same level of control but the way I think of it is:

How much guaranteed damage can I get before they leave the corner?

Put like this, Fei Long has the advantage. To go along with the amount of options from this position (overhead, frametraps, safe Rekka, command grab, crossup CW), all of Dictator's escape options are punishable in some form. When the shoe is on the other foot, and although I feel Dictator's safe SK pressure and inherent spacing therein beat Fei, the risk/reward for Fei gambling an EX CW or forward jump is in Fei's favour.

It's quite divisive when it comes to opinions on the matchup. I feel though that the majority of situations that arise in the match tend to favour Dictator but it can easily be completely dominated by Fei, and it's all dependent on the opening thirty seconds of the match, where it could end shortly after or go the full 99 seconds.

Main points:

-  Dictator controls footsies at round start and throughout mid-screen.
-  Dictator cannot jump, whereas Fei can.
-  Okizeme in Dictator's favour.
-  Corner game in Fei Long's favour.
-  Super almost irrelevant for both characters.

P.S, This is by no means an exhaustive analysis of the match; there are other tricks/setups that both characters have that can make things easier but they are the main parts of the match that you will encounter with 90% of players.

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